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In the construction sector, seasonally adjusted production1 fell by 1.4% in the euro area2 (EA17) and by 1.8% in the EU272 in September 2012, compared with the previous month, according to first estimates released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The largest decreases were registered in Portugal (-13.4%) while the biggest the increases in Slovenia (+17.1%).
LIVE FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION
Resource Efficiency is top priority for the 2013 agenda
The European Commission keeps Resource Efficiency (RE) in the political radar for the next years, and believes that RE is one basis of the Sustainable Production and Consumption policy. Furthermore, the Commission believes that RE indeed helps business in the time of transition period to a “Low-carbon economy” and it hides investments opportunities for the industry.
The EU doesn’t have legally binding law on Resource Efficiency, but aims to integrate the issue in as many policies as possible. For instance, it has been included in the European renewable energy legislation.
As for the next year, Resource Efficiency Platform (launched in June 2012) is focusing on the following three areas:
14 Dec. 2012: Platform for Resource Efficiency meets for the second time, to present the first conclusions of its work
Summer 2013: Platform expected to issue a first set of recommendations for short-term measures that can be adopted in about 12 months
By 2014: Commission to revise 2020 recycling targets set in the Waste Framework Directive
Mid-2014: Mandate ends, the platform makes recommendations for the longer term
BIBM held its biannual General Assembly on 23 November 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. Two workshops were organised for the participants. The first Workshop presented the close cooperation among BIBM, the European Concrete Platform (representing the concrete industry at European level) and the Ready-mixed concrete industry.The host Malin Löfsjögard (Director at Svensk Betong), Mr Stein Tosterud (ERMCO President - European Ready-mixed Concrete Association), Mr Francesco Biasioli, the Secretary General of ERMCO gave interesting presentation on the collaboration of the two sectors at national and European level.
The second Workshop held the title “Workers Health and safety in the precast concrete industry”. Mr Martin Clarke (Chief Executive, British Precast Concrete Association), Ton Pielkenrood (Director, Dutch Precast Concrete Association) and Marc Lebrun (Director- French Precast Concrete Association) presented national campaigns to improve workers health and safety and raise awareness of the issue.
NEWS IN BRIEF
According to a study prepared by French researchers, using high strength concrete could help to reduce the environmental impact of construction. For further information please click on the following link:
The Concrete Centre published a new publication holding the title “Concrete Floor Solutions for Passive and Active Cooling”. The publication includes case studies to highlight recent projects featuring the various systems covered.
According to a flash estimate published on 30 November 2012 from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the Euro area annual inflation is expected to be 2.2% in November 2012, down from 2.5% in October 2012.
The first estimate for the euro area (EA17) trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in September 2012 gave a 9.8€bn euro surplus, compared with +1.7€bn in September 2011. The first estimate for the September 2012 extra-EU27 trade in goods balance was a 12.6€bn euro deficit, compared with -10.9€bn in September 2011.
Euro area annual inflation was 2.5% in October 2012, down from 2.6% in September 2012. A year earlier the rate was 3.0%. Monthly inflation was 0.2% in October 2012. The lowest annual rates were observed in Greece (0.9%), while the highest in Hungary (6.0%).
On 14 November 2012, the Energy Efficiency Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member States now have an 18 months transposition period to implement the Directive into national law.
According to the estimates released by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 2.5% in the euro area (EA17) and by 2.3% in the EU27, in September 2012 compared with August 2012.
NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
Stavanger Concert Hall, Stavanger, Norway
The Norwegian Concrete Element Prize for 2012 goes to Ratio arkitekter for their work on the red concrete façade elements for the Stavanger Concert Hall.
The new Stavanger concert hall plays a fundamental role in the long-term strategy to position the city as an economic and cultural node in northern Europe. It is located in the beautiful surroundings of Bjergsted Park, ten-minute walk from the city centre of Stavanger.
17 December 2012
BIBM Congress organising Committee
18 January 2013
ECP – Health, Environment & Hygiene
22 January 2012
BIBM Board meeting
25 January 2012
CEN/TC 104/SC 1/TG 20 Product category rules for concrete
28 January 2013
European Construction Forum
30 January 2013
BIBM Environment Commission
31 January 2013