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Housing 4.0 Energy

The problem we are addressing

Large groups in society, such as pensioners, students and refugees, do not benefit from the progress made in energy efficiency technologies and designs. They live in substandard / energy-high / oversized homes. There is a mismatch between household evolution (downsizing) and housing stock (oversized & inflexible) and its evolution.  The traditional building culture does not provide solutions for smaller dwellings. Energy and resources saving solutions are aimed at larger family-homes with higher energy costs and consumption.  Small low-energy budget homes have great potential in reducing domestic energy use.

The Housing 4.0 Energy project will open the door for a whole realm of possibilities in the current housing sector and in turn improve energy efficiency and quality of life—not just in Flemish Brabant, but throughout North West Europe. On the 18th of June, H4.0E project partners convened in Leuven, Belgium—home base of Lead Partner, the Province of Flemish Brabant—to kick-off H4.0E and outline the next steps for implementing this exciting new project.

Housing 4.0 Energy South East Energy Interreg North West Europe logo

The problem we are addressing

Large groups in society, such as pensioners, students and refugees, do not benefit from the progress made in energy efficiency technologies and designs. They live in substandard / energy-high / oversized homes. There is a mismatch between household evolution (downsizing) and housing stock (oversized & inflexible) and its evolution. The traditional building culture does not provide solutions for smaller dwellings. Energy and resources saving solutions are aimed at larger family-homes with higher energy costs and consumption. Small low-energy budget homes have great potential in reducing domestic energy use.

The Housing 4.0 Energy project will open the door for a whole realm of possibilities in the current housing sector and in turn improve energy efficiency and quality of life—not just in Flemish Brabant, but throughout North West Europe. On the 18th of June, H4.0E project partners convened in Leuven, Belgium—home base of Lead Partner, the Province of Flemish Brabant—to kick-off H4.0E and outline the next steps for implementing this exciting new project.

Project Summary

NWE (North-West Europe) lacks affordable new low energy housing solutions for 1&2 person households. Existing techniques & practices neglect financial capacities & limited space requirements of this growing group. Thus, occupants often live in too large, expensive & not energy efficient housing units. Offering access to new smaller zero energy/low carbon homes (ZEH) will vastly reduce energy use & CO2 emissions in NWE.

Housing 4.0 Energy will develop an affordable ZEH market by adapting & applying new technologies & creating consumer/supplier interest. It will reduce production costs of new housing units by 25% & CO2 emissions by 60% (compared with average new built houses, lowering both embodied & operational energy). Transnational development & implementation of digitization (4.0) techniques & a digital platform will create fundamental changes in design, manufacture & construction supply chains. Using a client-based approach, all partners will work with social housing companies (the primary target group) & end users in 4 NWE countries (the final beneficiaries). Tests and demonstration will occur in four pilot sites covering varying contexts, from cities in leading low carbon regions to rural areas in less carbon conscientious regions.

The project includes tested, demonstrated and monitored combinations of energy solutions, building techniques, low carbon construction material, all standardised for EU use; an online platform to facilitate digitization of building, transferability of solutions, distributed manufacturing & the emergence of sustainable supply chains; 58 model housing units in 4 countries (1,374 Kt CO2 savings) with consumer evaluations; novel training programmes for the building sector & recommendations for policy makers. In doing so, each partner will establish a regional stakeholder group for roll-out incl. housing companies, authorities, architects, engineers and construction companies using & developing the open source 4.0 platform.

Objectives

  • To facilitate the uptake of low carbon technologiesproducts, processes and services in sectors with high energy saving potential, to reduce GHG emissions in NWE
  • Housing 4.0 Energy practices will
    • reduce production costs of new housing units by 25%
    • reduce CO2/m² by 60% emissions for embodied CO2
    • Build 56 units which means a saving of 0.86 kt CO2
  • Objectives in 5-years = 1000 Houses
  • Objectives in 10-years = 50000 Houses

Project Details

  • Total Budget: € 4.2 Million
  • Total ERDF Funding: € 2.5 Million
  • Total Investment Budget: € 1.1 Million
  • Total Investment ERDF Budget: € 641,776.00

Housing 4.0 Energy Irish Pilots

Through our partners, Evercam, South East Energy Agency has a time-lapse of the construction of our H4.0E pilots in  St Mary’s Court, Carlow and Mullinavat, Kilkenny.

H4.OE Pilot update:

Read IGBChats Story for Housing 4.0 Energy and the Pilots or see below of pilot promotional video that highlights some of the key features of our pilots.

All of the H4.0E houses are progressing well. As of now the foundations, walls, roofs, external insulations, and render are all complete. The doors, windows, and PV panels have also been installed. The first mechanical and electrical fixes are done, with the second fix ongoing.

Monitoring equipment and instructions are on the way from our H4.0E partner, TUDelft. This monitoring equipment will be used to measure the efficiency and energy use of the houses. Monitoring will take place in the homes until April 2023.

Housing 4.0E Final Conference

The Housing 4.0E conference was hosted in late May 2021. This conference joined the Floriade Expo in Almere, Netherlands and saw H4.0E partners, ambassadors, and stakeholders come together to discuss the pilots, the project goals, and what must come next for northwest Europe to meet both its housing and carbon reduction needs.

The theme for the conference was Beyond the pilots, to a sustainable, green and affordable built environment.

Read our news story on the conference below where you can also download the presentations delivered on the day.

Housing 4.0 Energy Guidebook

The H.0E Guidebook was presented at the final conference on Monday May 23rd. It is currently not available for download but will be as new iterations are released. This has been prepared by all the project partners and includes and full overview of the project including information on the pilots, platform, and online training.

Please note, over the coming months more information will become available from the H4.0E project and we will endeavour to bring this to you through updating the Guidebook periodically.

H4.0E Workshop Series

As part of the H4.0E Project, South East Energy Agency launched our H4.0E Workshop Series. This series was directed towards policy makers and drivers, those involved in housing construction, as well as any interested parties and stakeholders. The series began January 26th and occurred weekly until March 2nd where we closed the series with a panel discussion.

The theme for this workshop series was ‘How the low carbon approach of H4.0E can fit the Irish Construction Policy Context.’

All the slides and recordings for the events are below.

Session 1: Low Embodied Carbon Approach

Click the video to watch the first event of our Workshop Series titled: Low Embodied Carbon Approach, presented by Ralf Kampe from South East Energy Agency. The theme for this workshop was: Achieving low carbon & affordable & small H4.0E-nZEB social housing units.

In this workshop, South East Energy Agency gave an introduction to H4.0E and the online material available through the project. Speaker Ralf Kampe also introduced the H4.0E principles of low carbon material, low carbon construction types, first fabric approach, and the benefits for stakeholders.

DOWNLOAD SLIDES
Session 2: Mass Timber Solution and Circularity

Click the video to watch the second event of our Workshop Series titled: Mass Timber Solution and Circularity presented by Florian Thoma from Thoma Wood100. The theme for this workshop was: Glue-less Mass timber solution and circulation; digitalisation of the design and manufacture process

During this workshop, Florian Thoma discussed dowl Laminated timber moon wood circularity and its benefits.

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Session 3: Use of the H4.0E Platform

Click the video to watch the third event of our Workshop Series titled: Use of the H4.0E Platform presented by Alastair Parvin from Open Systems Lab. The theme for this workshop was: Digitalisation of the Design Process to Achieving H4.0E nZEB/ZEB buildings.

During this workshop, Alastair Parvin showed attendees the platform, how it works, and how to use it. The topics to be discussed include the platform’s structure and principles, DfMA, design process, supply chain, platform output and exchange, and the benefits for the stakeholder.r the stakeholder.

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Session 4: Low Operational Carbon Approach

Click the video to watch the fourth event of our Workshop Series titled: Low Operational Carbon Approach presented by Barry McCarron from South West College. The theme for this workshop was: Achieving low carbon & affordable & small H4.0E-nZEB social housing units.

During this workshop, Barry McCarron discussed H4.0E Fabric First and Passive House principles and its benefits for stakeholders including building fabric, air quality, insulation, and ventilation.

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Session 5: Efficient Up to Date Building Supply Technique

Click the video to watch the fifth event of our Workshop Series titled: Efficient Up to Date Building Supply Technique presented by Barry McCarron from South West College. The theme for this workshop was: Achieving low carbon & affordable & small H4.0E-nZEB social housing units.

During this workshop, Barry McCarron built on and went into deeper technical information on the previous workshop which looked at Passive House principles and the Fabric First Approach.

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Session 6: Panel Discussion

Click the video to watch the final event of our Workshop Series our panel discussion with:

The main theme for this panel discussion was: “Why is Ireland so far behind in adopting low carbon and low energy buildings and how do we change the situation?”

The panel also looked to discuss:
– Achieving low carbon, affordable & small H4.0E-nZEB social and private housing units.
– How can we learn from our European partners to embed the H4.0E approach in the Irish Construction Context?
– Barriers to overcome in the social and private housing market
– How do we drive change in this industry?

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H4.0E Project Updates

H4.0E Long term Effects Ambassador programme:

Vlaams-Brabrant announces their first H4.0E Ambassador – Chris Troniseck
Chris Troniseck, Vlaams-Brabant's

The H4.0E Ambassador Programme is an integral part of ensuring the long-term goals for the project are met. The first ambassador announced by the Province of Vlaams-Brabrant (Flemish Brabant) is Chris Troniseck, a partner of Locus Architects who joins us as a non-technical H4.0E Ambassador. Chris is a self-employed architect since 1982, a partner of Locus Architects (1999-2009), and the owner of c58 architectenvennootschap (c58 bvba architects company) (2009-2019).

Since 2011, Chris has acted as a project leader at social housing companies. As a H4.0E Ambassador, Chris shall leverage his years of experience as an architect and in the social housing sector to increase awareness and understanding of the H4.0E project.

Additionally, Chris Troniseck has been working on the development of an urban, hybrid core hub for some time, which is centred on affordable housing for singles and very small families.

He has contributed to various social housing projects in areas designated for small-scale housing development under a spatial implementation plan. Chris’s involvement in the H4.0E project comes from his continued interest in pragmatic and economical approaches to all things building technology.

Also, Chris Troniseck stands behind the belief that the energy crisis and resulting energy transition can only be meaningfully “dealt with” in conjunction with all the other factors involved in building housing and living in Europe (i.e., quality of life, prefabrication, circularity, affordability).

Read the H4.0E Newsletter Issue 1 – Spring/Summer 2019
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Read the H4.0E Newsletter Issue 2 – Autumn/Winter 2019
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Read the H4.0E Newsletter Issue 3 – Spring/Summer 2020
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Read the H4.0E Newsletter Issue 4 – Autumn/Winter 2020
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Read the H4.0E Newsletter Issue 5 – Spring 2021
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