Forgot password

Empowering SMEs to innovate: transforming social housing across Europe

How METABUILDING Labs is enhancing living conditions and sustainability through tenant-engaged Innovation in Spain and France

Brussels, Belgium, 8 May 2024 | Published in Future of the EU & Housing

Once again, the Housing Europe network is at the forefront of a large EU-funded project that aims to lower barriers to innovation in the construction sector. Since 2021, the METABUILDING Labs initiative has been empowering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop and test new solutions specifically within social housing neighbourhoods. The project focuses on enhancing the construction value chain through new materials, upgraded technical equipment, and boosting skills and training.

Four countries—Spain, France, Italy, and Turkey—serve as testing grounds for these innovative technologies in social and affordable homes. Each site provides valuable data and insights, helping to refine and optimise these solutions for broader application.

In Paris, France, POLYLOGIS is transforming a social housing block of flats with 42 units. This renovation includes significant upgrades to the building's exterior, showcasing the latest in sustainable construction practices. "Our goal is not only to improve energy efficiency but also to enhance living conditions for our residents," Aude de Brébisson, European Projects and Innovation Manager at POLYLOGIS stressed.

LOGISTIC, in partnership with LogiRep, is working on a unique project at the Lacassagne social housing residence in Fontenay-sous-Bois, France. This residence includes a collective building with 32 apartments and 9 individual houses. They are testing innovative sunshades developed by EDILIANS, designed to enhance summer comfort, reduce direct sunlight, and generate electricity through integrated solar cells. "Despite initial challenges in tenant engagement, we are committed to involving the community and adapting our approach as needed," Brébisson added.

In Asturias, Spain, VIPASA is transforming an L-shaped social housing block with 16 units. Using the Living Labs methodology, this project involves tenants in testing a new facade panel developed by Hormipresa. "By comparing the performance of these panels with conventional solutions, we aim to gather direct feedback from our tenants," Daniel Muñiz Domínguez, European Projects Technician at VIPASA explained. "Vipasa offers a social housing building in Salgueiras, Villanueva de Oscos, as a pilot site to test innovative solutions in a real environment, where we will have direct information on the results obtained through our tenants," Domínguez added. This hands-on approach ensures that the voices of the residents are heard and that the innovations truly meet their needs.

These initiatives reflect a deep commitment to enhancing the quality of life for social housing residents while driving technological advancements in construction. By involving tenants directly and focusing on practical, real-world applications, Housing Europe and its members are ensuring that innovations are both effective and beneficial. This project supports the development of new construction systems and paves the way for their broader application across public housing, creating a sustainable and inclusive future for all.

By continually engaging with tenants and adapting to their feedback, Housing Europe is making significant strides in creating smarter, more sustainable social housing solutions that can be implemented across Europe.

Find out more on the official website of the project.


METABUILDING LABS Project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 953193. The sole responsibility for the content of this document lies entirely with the author’s view. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.