EBC Secretariat (ESSU)
Mr. Malcolm Orme

+44 (0)121 262 1900

The EBC Research Strategy

The IEA co-ordinates international energy research and development (R&D) activities through a comprehensive portfolio of Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). The mission of the IEA Energy in Buildings and Communities (IEA EBC) TCP is to support the acceleration of the transformation of the built environment towards more energy efficient and sustainable buildings and communities, by the development and dissemination of knowledge, technologies and processes and other solutions through international collaborative research and open innovation. (Until 2013, the IEA EBC Programme was known as the IEA Energy Conservation in Buildings and Community Systems Programme, ECBCS.)

The R&D strategy of the EBC Programme for the five year period from 2024-2029 is derived from the Future Building Forum Think Tank Workshop convened jointly with the other buildings-related TCPs, as the members of the IEA Buildings Co-ordination Group and held in October 2022 in Gatineau, Canada, as well as the Strategic Planning Meeting held at the EBC ExCo meeting in Istanbul, Turkey in November 2022.

Research Priorities

The main research priorities are as follows:

  • Building retrofit for low energy and low carbon performance, considering technical, economic and user perspectives.

  • Reduction of the energy and carbon performance gap between predictions and real world operation.

  • Creation of 'low tech', robust and affordable technologies.

  • Further development of energy efficient resilient cooling.

  • Holistic solution sets for district level systems, accounting for energy grids, overall performance, business models and engagement of stakeholders.


The research priorities may be addressed by the means listed below:

  • development of support tools,

  • testing and evaluation in living labs,

  • application of smart controls,

  • better use of data,

  • BIM and digitisation.

The research priorities and the means by which these may be addressed, first identified in the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, remain in place and new proposals for EBC Annexes should address one or more of these.  The 'means' themes are instruments or enablers to reach such a goal. These  are explained in more detail in the EBC Strategic Plan 2024-2029. Download the EBC Strategic Plan 2024 - 2029 (PDF 2.2MB)

Many current and former researchers from EBC projects are often directly involved in formulating standards, regulations and codes and will use the knowledge gained in their work for EBC to inform and improve them. This indirect form of deployment can be one by which the EBC TCP has a strong, although less obvious impact.

EBC projects and activities have produced long-lasting decision-making tools and integrated systems technologies. Outcomes from the EBC TCP are publicised through many seminars and conferences.

EBC is one out of eight Buildings-related Technology Collaboration Programmes (BRTCPs) within the IEA's energy technology network.