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Natural Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (NEES) project in Northern periphery is looking for partners

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Three universities and one clean technology centre in Ireland, Finland and Sweden have been awarded a preparatory project funding by the Northern Periphery Interreg IVB Programme, to develop a proposal to promote natural products and services that improve energy efficiency in existing homes. The partners' starting point is that most products and technologies that are currently used for retrofitting are high-impact industrial or chemical products, requiring a high energy input in production, using materials and chemicals that are hazardous or difficult to recycle. At the same time the NPP region has a host of natural resources, such as wood, sheep's wool, hemp, flax and lime, that can be effectively used for retrofit, and and the same time boost local economies by making use oflocal materials and skills. However, these products and technologies are often sidlined and not properly documented.

The NEES project will investigate, highlight and promote them both within the Region and at EU level. The NEES partnership is looking for additional partners that are interested in developing this approach and have the potential to apply it, particularly in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Isles. In particular (but not only) government agencies, local authorities, housing associations or similar bodies that can develop and integrate a more sustainable approach into their retrofit strategies, and link them to rural development.

The NEES Project aims to identify and map resources and technologies based on natural products and processes in the Northern Periphery Programme region, which have the potential of being mainstreamed, and can improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of existing dwellings both in and outside the region. This refers to products, processes and technologies for achieving better roof and wall insulation, for passive solar heating, for natural ventilation, for integration of renewable, as well as other technologies that contribute to making buildings more sustainable throughout their life cycle, reducing their energy needs and carbon footprint, reduce their waste and use of hazardous and polluting materials.

NEES will develop triple bottom line sustainability criteria (environmental, economic and social) for the assessment and evaluation of these products and technologies, based on the analysis of best practice, with an LCA approach. This best practice will be disseminated through reports, seminars and study visits, and we will develop practical demonstration events based on the exchange of products technologies, that will also be monitored and evaluated. All information arising from the project will be linked to an “online portal of naturally efficient technologies” and the project will promote the dissemination to and application of these technologies by relevant stakeholders in the entire NPP region.

NEES will also develop relevant training and support services for producers and installers, and for consultants, enterprises and advisory agencies promoting and implementing energy efficiency, and to local communities who may benefit from these products and services. This support will include energy awareness, technical, accreditation and marketing issues.

The project aims at a quantifiable increase in awareness and the take up of these products and technologies in all NPP partner regions, and quantifiable benefits (environmental, economic and social) arising from the dissemination of this approach. Benefits will include a reduction in energy use, in carbon footprint, a reduction of waste, an improvement in water quality, a reduction in waste and pollution, diversification of rural production, energy efficiency improvements to urban and rural dwellings, development of local skills, jobs and enterprises, and the development of local and transnational markets for NPP products and services.

For full information contact José Ospina, Project Manager at jose@joseospina.com or (+353) 28 21890 or (+353) 86 8224429