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Integration of energy smart materials in non-residential buildings (IA)


The development of lightweight components based on high-efficiency insulation materials needs adding active energy management capabilities without increasing weight. Proposals should cover all of the following:

  • development of lightweight components for the construction of building envelopes with integral means for combined active/passive management of energy transfer, i.e. for active insulation, heath diversion, storage and directional transfer;
  • solutions capable for use in both new buildings and for retrofitting existing ones;
  • solutions allowing for installation without modifying the structure of the building (or without overloading existing structures) and demonstrating a high replication and industrial potential;
  • modelling of the materials and components as well as to the development of novel testing methodologies oriented towards assessing the long-term performance of the elements. This should include the estimation of durability and service life;
  • reduced maintenance costs, possibility of use in a wide range of environmental conditions, favour renewable resources, respect of sustainability principles (International Reference Life Cycle Data System - ILCD Handbook), and the possibility of reuse at the end of service life.

This topic is likely to contribute to standardisation and certification activities.

Resources should be envisaged for clustering with other projects funded under the call, in order to facilitate research cohesion and inter-consortia cooperation.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include actions designed to facilitate cooperation with other projects; to enhance user involvement; and to ensure the accessibility and reusability of data produced in the course of the project.

Activities should start at TRL 5 and achieve TRL 7 at the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Europe is leader in the development of components for buildings retrofitting. Its leadership is based on the use of high-efficient insulation materials including concrete, steel, glass, composites, wood and hybrids, which should lead to achieving recyclable, nearly zero-energy building envelopes (roofs, façades) when applied to new buildings. However, these components do still not allow for the integration of smart energy storage and for an equal performance in existing buildings. This has proved to be very challenging, in terms of complexity, weight control and overall retrofitting costs. Therefore, work is required to advance the technology readiness level. Activities should include the demonstration of new hybrid-enabled prototypes for selected non-residential buildings.

When compared to state of the art, the newly developed solutions should bring:

  • Improvement by at least 25% of the insulation properties at component level for a given weight, when in isolation (passive) mode;
  • 10% improvement in energy-storage capability when in active mode(s);
  • Water and air tightness should be at least 10% higher than existing solutions (when it is proposed a controllable solution);
  • Cost increase of less than 15%, in order to allow market uptake across Europe and contribute to social affordability.

Relevant indicators and metrics, with baseline values, should be clearly stated in the proposal.