Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: The development of sustainable solutions for refurbishment of buildings and their proper integration at district level requires major innovations in the design tools, construction methods and management practices, including socio-economic aspects and innovative financing instruments.

Buildings should no longer be renovated individually, but as part of a global energy system, where their interactions with their environment can be predicted and simulated, as well as taking into account interactions with inhabitants and customers. Design tools should also support the evaluation of different retrofitting alternatives.

A challenge is to ensure the interoperability between tools from various domains and at different scales. But more importantly, knowledge collection and management in the fields of refurbishment issues should be developed and implemented in order to propose solutions adapted to collaborative multi-disciplinary refurbishing work.

Scope: Research activities should be focused on design at buildings and district level, taking into account the adjacent systems such as district heating/cooling and decentralised thermal energy generation and other interactions with the neighbourhood, giving priority to local renewable resources. Projects should promote and set up an integrated approach in support of innovation, by providing actors with holistic methods and tools. Energy efficiency technologies should become elements of design databases that allow stakeholder to select the most suitable approach for performance improving, taking full advantage of geo-clustered data sets. The design phases linked to the retrofitting of existing buildings taking into account subsequent operation and maintenance will be considered as priority. In this respect, there is a need for further research on operational information that can be used in design models. Knowledge based design can also be used to provide input into management systems.

Projects should also cover validation actions on a technical level, which apply the tools on refurbishment projects; and on a societal level, i.e. validation with the occupants of the building. For the latter, involvement of organisations within an Integrated Project Delivery Approach, supporting a participatory design approach, could be an asset.

For this topic, proposals should include an outline of the initial exploitation and business plans, which will be developed further in the proposed project.

Wherever possible, proposers could actively seek synergies, including possibilities for funding, with relevant national / regional research and innovation programmes and/or cumulative funding with European Structural and Investment Funds in connection with smart specialisation strategies. For this purpose the tools provided by the Smart Specialization Platform, Eye@RIS3 may be useful[1]. The initial exploitation and business plans will address such synergies and/or additional funding. Exploitation plans, outline financial arrangements and any follow-up will be developed further during the project. The results of these activities as well as the envisaged further activities in this respect should be described in the final report of the project.

Activities expected to focus on Technology Readiness Level 5-7. A significant participation of SMEs with R&D capacities is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 and 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

·                More effective refurbishment at building and district level.

·                Optimised design of integrated energy-efficient buildings, considering the different physical dimensions in a coupled and holistic way (energy, comfort, air quality, acoustics etc.), enabling actors to take validated and quantified choices for the refurbishment at building and district level on the basis of quantified performance objectives with compliance with regulation and user-oriented comfort expectations and constraints .

Type of action: Innovation Actions.

[1]; the relevant Managing Authorities can be found at</p>

Record Number: 665058 / Last updated on: 2015-03-25