€6.4m boost for green building tech


A new project worth some €6.4m has been launched to help the EU meet carbon targets, tackle fuel poverty, and improve green building technologies…

A project aimed at improving building efficiency has received support from the European Commission.

With the built environment accounting for over 40 per cent of overall energy consumption in Europe and 36 per cent of CO2 emissions, improving efficiency has become a vital part of many EU member states’ plans to meet carbon targets.

Schemes such as BREEAM already rate buildings based on how efficient they are. This is used as a marker to instantly identify those buildings that perform well or poorly.

The project, Built2Spec, aims to close the performance gap that exists between official building energy ratings and the amount of energy used in reality.

Funding for the project has been given via the European Commission’s €80bn research and innovation fund, Horizon 2020, which will enable the scheme to further develop the use of mobile and cloud technology to assess the efficiency of buildings.

The project will focus on the domestic housing market and aims to develop technology that can be used across larger portfolios such as housing associations. Initiatives will see smartphone apps used to perform 3D building scans and to test air-tightness without sealing and vacating the building. Platforms will also be put into place to allow data to be captured and shared.

The project, which will span four years, will be delivered by a consortium of 20 organisations, comprising of universities, researchers, technology developers, and contractors.

A statement from the 20 organisations said: “Current construction techniques and assessment methods mean that there are major defects and inefficiencies in the measurement process and it is difficult to assess whether new build or retrofitted properties are actually performing as they should.”

The 20 organisations includes four UK partners: BSRIA, VRM Technology, Lakehouse, and the University of Nottingham. This group will share an allocation of €1.24m from the budget.

Head of sustainability at Lakehouse Simon Green said: “This project has huge potential to revolutionise the way we deliver energy efficiency in Europe.

“At the moment, there’s a risk of a big performance gap between the energy rating of a building and how it actually performs.

“One of the problems is that previously new technology has been difficult to apply in the field – we’re setting out to change that.

“This project aims to accelerate R&D successes into the market and into people’s homes in a way which will help meet national and European carbon targets far more effectively.

“With the roll-out of smart metering across the UK by 2020, there’s a big opportunity to think much more holistically about how our buildings perform.  This can help us make real headway not only on energy efficiency but, crucially, also on fuel poverty.”


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