Practices

The ENVISION H2020 Project: harvesting energy from all building skins without it being visible

ENVISION has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 767180.   Started on 1st October 2017, the project’s ambition is to use of the full external building surface...

InBetween H2020 Project

Inducing a behavioral change towards Energy Efficiency represents an unsolved societal challenge with potentially enormous environmental impact, but it is still difficult to get people to adopt a more energy-efficient lifestyle due to...

OVERVIEW | Building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) as a viable option among renewables

In the face of the urgent need to renovate and decarbonise the existing building stock, special focus is on building skins, such as roofs and facades, to make them more efficient through innovative solutions and materials, but also to...

ReUseHeat quantified EU28 urban waste heat potential

The ReUseHeat report "Accessible Urban Waste Heat" shows a significant heat recovery potential from unconventional excess heat sources. Approximately 1.2 EJ (or 340 TWh) per year are possible to recover from data centres, metro stations,...

Indoor air pollution: the invisible enemy

Researchers are developing low-cost technologies to tackle indoor air pollution that is a growing menace. A new generation of electrostatic filters can capture even the smallest particles of household pollutants, using a little amount of...

Smart 3D modelling for buildings

Building information modelling (BIM) has disrupted the construction industry. The digital technology represents and processes all the characteristics of a building in its whole life-cycle, allowing architects, engineers and construction...

OVERVIEW | Building operation: the elusive alignment of research, design and occupants

From January 2021 all new construction in the EU must achieve the nearly-zero energy buildings standard, and existing buildings will have to be renovated at a faster rate. While the carbon emissions from buildings in operation should be...

When Smart Means Dim

An urban district in western Turkey is trialling a smart lighting system in a bid to cut energy bills and be more ecological.   The Yaşamköyü District in Tepebaşı, north-west Turkey has deployed a new intelligent lighting system along four...

Florence: Renaissance and smart future

The Italian city has recently become a model smart city by implementing a broad plan ranging from urban development to mobility and new tourism management   When you hear Uffizi, Accademia and David what do you think about? Florence, for...

OVERVIEW | Decarbonising the non-residential building stock

The building stock in the EU Member States is relatively old, on average 21.6% of the building stock was built before 1945, 45.4% was built before 1969 and 75.4% before 1990. With the exception of Cyprus, Ireland, and Luxembourg, the...

OVERVIEW | How is the EU supporting BIM and ICT development in the buildings sector?

BIM (Building Information Modelling) is the process of creating and managing information digitally across a building life-cycle. This information included in the model is not just the 3D geometrical data such as width, height, and depth,...

ENERFUND – A tool to identify building energy retrofit opportunities

The ENERFUND tool aims to scale up investments in deep renovation of buildings across Europe. Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, it provides key stakeholders such as financing institutions, energy service companies...

EU Building Stock Observatory

In recent years energy efficiency of the building stock has been recognised as a significant route to contribute towards meeting the European Union’s energy targets, by reducing energy demand and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions....

Climate change: trees to the rescue

Bringing nature back into cities can help fight global warming.   Fighting climate change is the challenge of the century. The last UN Environment Emissions Gap Report warned that, in order to ensure global warming stays below 2°C, efforts...

Waste heat from power plants hits home

District heating systems that use industrial waste are increasingly common, which helps the transition to a circular economy.   There is no such thing as a perfect energy efficient process. The second law of thermodynamics states that all...

OVERVIEW | Zero-Energy Buildings: does the definition influence their design and implementation?

In the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD, 2010/31/EU), the term Nearly Zero-Energy Building (commonly abbreviated as NZEB) was introduced and defined as a “building that has a very high energy performance… the nearly...

Discussing Finance - Financing Energy Efficiency in Malta and Italy

The Sustainable Energy Investment Forums are a series of workshops and seminars, organised under a contract managed by the European Commission’s Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME). On 22 November 2018 a ‘Financing Energy Efficiency in Malta...

When citizen engagement makes the difference

Involving citizens is the biggest challenge to finalise large-scale energy efficiency works in neighbourhoods. An emblematic story comes from Valladolid, Spain, where “no, we can’t” has become “yes, we can”   Thirty-one apartment...

Finance and investment challenges presented in the 8th edition of Renovate Europe’s REDay

The Club of Rome’s first report and early whistle-blowers’ calls from the late 1960s on the Earth’s environmental stress, are today backed by concrete facts and data on the need for change. A significant 40 % of energy use relates to...

Are smart cities ready for Europe's new privacy measures?

By providing citizens with a bigger power and control over their personal information, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) represents a challenge to smart cities, which use also personal data to offer intelligent services.  ...