Interview

A Q&A with York Ostermeyer on the Building Market Reports

Finding out more about the Building Market Reports: generating insights on the building sector and fostering low-carbon investments and scaling.

28 March 2018

At the end of 2017 the first Building Market Brief Report (BMB) for Switzerland was successfully launched by Climate-KIC BTA & partners. This was just the start of a whole series to come. The consortium is now heading towards 4 BMBs that will be published mid 2018: France, United Kingdom, Germany and The Netherlands. Time to ask our burning questions to the project lead, York Ostermeyer (YO)

Why a series of BMB reports?

YO: “These reports generate insights on the building sector to foster low-carbon investments and scaling. Such information is presently incomplete and fragmented. The reports will help to identify business opportunities for both established companies and start-ups. On national and pan-European level. Besides they fill the gap between very high-level and very granular reports.”

How to develop the right research methodology?

YO: “The key challenge was to produce comparable data, even though all countries document information on their building stock very differently. To overcome this hurdle, a method was created based on synthetic building stock inventories; Building Stock Modelling Methodology. The setup of the model was substantially modified after feedback of the target audience. The current model not only allows to calculate market volumes per typology or the market volume for a certain technology related to Return of Investment, but can also answer to identifying the characteristics of buildings in which a product or service performs exceptionally well.”

What about synergies with other initiatives?

YO: “To maximise our impact and make use of synergies, we’ve connected with e.g. the IEA Annex70 on Building Epidemiology, the EU Building Observatory and the UNEP Global Alliance for Building and Construction.”

How has the first BMB report been received in the market?

YO: “We’ve received positive feedback from experts in the Swiss market. And also during the EEB Lab organised by WBCSD and a work session in Brussels, where we’ve presented the Swiss BMB report. But honestly, because this was our pilot project we’ve not forced distribution. That will definitely change this year.”

What to expect from the next series?

YO: “The reports for France, Germany, UK and The Netherlands will be published mid 2018. They basically are improved versions of the Swiss report, but further evolved using feedback from the target audience and our learnings along the journey. I’m confident that this results in a more valuable and polished product in terms of tailored insights towards the drivers, barriers and opportunities for low-carbon innovation.”

How will these reports tackle climate change?

YO: “By gathering big data, based at a similar methodology used by all our partners, market players have access to free, reliable and understandable information on low-carbon innovation. It will make them aware, and hopefully eager, to scale-up their products and services in the market. The BMB community will also serve as entry points / connectors to these markets. This is how the BMBs will accelerate the low-carbon transition in the building sector.”

Why starting a BMB community?

YO: “The idea started around the co-creation of the first BMB Report with our partners and experts. Besides the fact that we’ve all equally contributed in time and knowledge, we also saw the value of continuously exchanging information, knowledge and network on a pan-European level in a more structured way. We’re now entering a new phase; we ‘formalised’ our co-creation in a foundation and in a company. Because we’ve also identified the business potential that goes beyond the reports.”

Has the BMB community the power to influence at country and / or European level?

YO: “Yes! Firstly, our partners are experts on the built environment in general and their country specifically. Secondly, they have acquired an international as well as local reputation. Thirdly, they are and/or have connections with influencers on national and/ or international level already. Lastly, their influence will grow as the BMB data and insights will grow. Once we’ve created quantified information for most of the European countries, our experts will be more and more engaged in decision making for a low-carbon economy and enable pan-EU comparison (and dialogue) on low-carbon innovations & legislations in the building sector.”

What is your dream for the BMB community for the next 3 to 5 years?
YO: “That we’ve successfully demonstrated – what I consider the strongest aspect of Climate-KIC – its ability to address and solve problems with an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach. That we’ve delivered bottom up on which all top down approaches so far have failed: cross-country comparable insights in the built environment that help overcoming the various barriers we face in this sector!”

Links

Building Market Report Switzerland

All Building Market Reports

Published 25 April 2018

About BTA

Building Technologies Accelerator (BTA) is a programme by EIT Climate-KIC: the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero carbon economy.