Buildings consume a great deal of energy. But they can also be productive and independent, and generate energy from renewable sources installed on roof terraces, party walls or facades.

Lines of action

4. Better than new buildings

Stepping up action to improve energy effi ciency in buildings and facilities in order to reduce their energy demand, optimise energy consumption and boost self-consumption, leading to buildings with almost zero consumption.


  • 4.1. Set up a municipal energy marketing company at the service of everyone (2018).
  • 4.2. Promote actions and tools for energy improvements in Barcelona’s commercial sector (2018).
  • 4.3. Deploy the municipal energy operator which will drive renewable energy production in the city and facilitate its installation in public and private spaces (2020).
  • 4.4. which will drive renewable energy production in the city and facilitate its installation in public and private spaces (2020) with sustainable criteria and for implementing energy improvements, both passive and active elements (for new installations and for the renovation of existing ones) in buildings (annually).
  • 4.5. Provide tax incentives for incorporating energy effi ciency measures that go further than the regulatory requirements (annually).
  • 4.6. Undertake communication and publicity activities to encourage energy savings in buildings:
    • Energy-saving marathon involving awareness- raising tasks among council workers (and centre users or visitors) in various kinds of municipal buildings (2018).
    • Tactical communication actions (ongoing).
    • Consolidation of the energy resources map (2018).
    • Publication of handbooks for the public and professionals on developing power generation facilities (2018).
    • Publication of a manual on the procedure for connecting generation systems for self- consumption (2018).
    • Dissemination of advice and tools to foster energy saving (energy calculator) (2018).
  • 4.7. Study traditional energy solutions (balcony window doors, ventilated roofs, etc.) and how to fit them into the modern building context (2020).
  • 4.8. Study and establish the technical specifi cations for the new thermal comfort standards that Barcelona wants to achieve locally, and work on changing the mentality of building promoters and users (2020).
  • 4.9. Analyse how long it will take for new, more environmentally responsible systems to be able to compete with traditional systems and what the cost-benefi t result will be in economic, social and environmental terms (2020).
  • 4.10. Monitor the energy performance of buildings, housing and public facilities to provide knowledge of their consumption and the energy improvements applied (ongoing).
  • 4.11. Study building systems and solutions adapted to Barcelona to improve their protection against heat and passive cooling, and supplement the current building regulations in force by establishing local technical and regulatory specifi cations. Incorporate criteria for protecting buildings against climate episodes (e.g. strong winds) (2025).
  • 4.12. Draft and enforce an energy by-law on building features, that boosts the market and exemplifi es the city’s commitment to reducing energy consumption along with emissions of greenhouse gases and local pollutants, and which also prioritises the use of sustainable materials and an energy supply based on residual sources (heating and cooling grids) (2030).

5. Recovering terrace roofs

Promoting roofs, walls and party walls that provide social and environmental services with added value.


  • 5.1. Draw up a by-law to promote productive roofs for new-build buildings, major renovations and buildings that undergo a change of use, which includes incentives and a proposal for the necessary regulatory changes to allow agriculture and construction elements on roofs, and which includes a maintenance commitment (2018).
  • 5.2. Draw up technical guidelines for public buildings that include the use of productive roofs, walls and facades (2018).
  • 5.3. Set up a municipal energy marketing company the service of everyone (2018).
  • 5.4. Increase grants and subsidies for power generation and other types of productive roofs based on using solar energy (for new installations and renovation of existing ones) in buildings, and ensuring a maintenance commitment (annually).
  • 5.5. Promote tax rebates for installing solar power generation systems that do more than comply with the regulations and study other possible rebates for other types of productive roofs (annually).
  • 5.6. Consolidate the green roof competition: one roof per district (annually).
  • 5.7. Promote initiatives that publicise and tell people about productive roofs:
    • An interactive map of existing and potential productive roofs and walls where each type of roof could be installed, for public consultation (2020).
    • A catalogue of existing roofs, with videos and experiences (2020).
    • Collaborative mappings (ongoing).
    • A design for an identifi cation symbol on the facade of public buildings with an accessible roof (2020).
  • 5.8. Offer technical advice on productive roofs and walls at the energy advice points, housing offi ces and other existing services (2025).
  • 5.9. Increase photovoltaic generation on industrial roofs linked to rolling out the Strategic Master Plan for the Llobregat Delta Economic Platform, as well as others (2025).
  • 5.10. Promote rainwater collection and its reuse in buildings (2030).