Forgot password

Paving the way for a circular built environment

The Horizon 2020 'Drive0' project kicks off

Brussels, 30 October 2019 | Published in Energy
The consortium partners in front of the expo pavillion on the premises of the 'Superlocal' project in Kerkrade
The consortium partners in front of the expo pavillion on the premises of the 'Superlocal' project in Kerkrade

With 3 days full of collaboration, close looks at practical examples and exchange around innovation, policy and future needs, the Horizon 2020 'Drive0' project kicked off last week in the Netherlands. Housing Europe is part of a diverse consortium that brings together truly excellent partners from the Academia, the corporate sector as well as practitioners in various aspects of the built environment.

Under the Horizon 2020 programme and the call for De-carbonisation of the EU building stock, the European Commission was looking for innovative and affordable solutions for the de-carbonisation of buildings in the EU. Solutions that will accelerate the energy renovations of buildings all around Europe. The 'Drive 0' project has been identified and evaluated as one of them.

Key in DRIVE 0 is the understanding that energy is used by people (to ensure a level of thermal comfort) rather than by buildings or devices using energy, and that embodied energy is embedded in materials and building components decided during the design process by the consumer. Hence, both the technical solutions as the supporting business models must be people oriented, i.e., connecting with people’s expectations, daily habits and cultural practices of users with the aim to reduce energy use in different environments and for awareness raising in general. This awareness about both the need and the benefits of circular renovation can originate or can be supported by consumers centered business models, supported by the use of ICT and solutions (as developed in projects like enCOMPASS, MOBISTYLE and TripleA-reno where Housing Europe is also a partner).

At the kick-off meeting that took place on October 22nd and 23rd at Brightlands Campus, the consortium, led by Huygen Installatie Adviseurs, came together for the first time to define jointly the expected results and define the details for the collaboration that will unfold over the next years. Apart from Housing Europe, on board is also the Instituto Valenciano De La Edificacion (member of our Spanish member AVS). The testing of the renovation concepts - to reach nZEB or ‘zero on the meter’ level - takes place in seven pilots in seven countries, including social housing located in Kerkrade (NL), Barcelona (ES), Argelato (IT).

Actually, the first day concluded with a study visit to Kerkrade to the Superlocal, the so called 'Super Circular Estate' Project. The case study that has received support from the Urban Innovative Actions EU programme aimed to experiment with new circular economy processes aimed at 100% reusing and recycling of materials acquired from the demolition of an outdated social housing high-rise flat. Concretely, four pilot housing units are currently built with different reuse/recycle techniques using materials acquired from the circular demolition of one of the high-rise social housing buildings. In line with circularity principles, former inhabitants will be invited back into the area. These potential tenants will be strongly involved in the co-design, operation and monitoring of the new collaborative economy services and facilities (such as a shared mobility platform and a social services centre) within the area. The project will generate 805.000 kilo of CO₂ emissions less, compared to the construction of a new high-rise flat. Besides the project will experiment with innovative techniques for water reuse by testing a closed water cycle initiative for social housing.

Find out more about 'Superlocal' on the 'Housing Evolutions Hub' of Housing Europe

A symposium was organized on the third day to discuss Circular Renovations with a larger group of experts and students from ZUYD. Sébastien Garnier, Innovation and project manager at Housing Europe, participated in a panel together with Philippe Moseley, European Commission, who explained about the H2020 Energy Efficiency programme managed by EASME and upcoming relevant calls for the housing sector. In the same panel Spyridon Pantelis, Project and Technical Officer at UIPI, shared the perspective of Property Owners when working on circularity in the residential stock. During his keynote speech Sébastien focus on four facets when dealing with more circular approaches in the social, public and cooperative sector: the environmental goals; the synergies for social and affordable housing; people-centred approaches; and innovative examples.