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.
H4.0E Project Updates
H4.0E research work for Long Term Effect:
By continuing research, 3cea gathered further information about the supply chain and technical solutions of system suppliers. During this process, 3cea members took part in several Continuous Professional Development (CPD) webinars, workshops, and meetings. This is an integral part of the 3cea work throughout. The themes of this activity range from Low Carbon Building materials, EU-Levels, to Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and Circularity. 3cea transferred the learnings, achievements, gained information to our partners as well as to a wider public with our webinars and workshops. We made aware, advised, and guided to incorporate these technologies and building solutions into the H4.0E projects and future projects of the upscaling process. This upscaling process is the up-taking of the H4.0E approach for future building developments. All this will feed into all related H4.0E deliverables regarding training materials, training agendas, guidebook, Improv and enrich the platform development, end conference, continuing platform development, and upscaling process.
H4.0E Long Term Effect and Innovative Techniques and Material:
As part of the H4.0E work package for Long Term Effect and Innovative Material and Techniques, workshops must be given for the Construction Industry, Platform Users, and End- as well as the Online Training and Training Sessions on the End conference. 3cea in cooperation with SouthWest College (SWC) having to create and deliver training material and establish and facilitate Training sessions, in form of webinars or face-to-face seminars. These training sessions are important as they will teach future users/proprietors of the H4.0E practices and principles how to effectively use them. The Construction Workshop, the first of which was hosted in May 2021, aims to teach individuals in the construction industry how to use the H4.0E practices in construction and material selection. The Platform Workshop will teach individuals how to use the digital platform being developed by OpenSystemsLab (OSL) which will allow users to design their own H4.0E house. Finally, the End-User Workshop will be aimed towards the people moving into H4.0E houses and will teach them about how their house works and how to effectively use a H4.0E house. End-users also include Social Housing Agencies and Local Authorities. Housing Agencies are letting the buildings and the Workshop will teach them how to run and maintain the buildings. Local Authorities are providing social housing units, they will learn about relevant standards and best practice guidelines for setting up a budget and brief design for a H4.0E social housing units. 3cea is working with SWC as well on the development of the H4.0E Online Course, which covers both the Construction Industry and the Occupants Guides to Near-Zero Energy Homes (nZEH). A draft version is online available by clicking here.
H4.0E Digital Platform:
3cea is cooperating with OpenSystemLab (OSL), the platform developer, on possibilities, necessary measurements regarding desired features, and how to realise them. 3cea designed a Pre-Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) setup for the early design stages and established requirements for the assessment and evaluating process as well delivered a user Journey to implement them into the H4.0E platform. This includes a preliminary identification of Carbon Hotspots and a life cycle analysis for the early design phase to mitigate potential embodied CO2 emissions. This presents the 3cea expectations and preferences relevant to the H4.0E platform. It is mentioned in the TUDelft Business model as well as a critical point within the development. Interested future users will probably only use the platform when it will be successful. To achieve this critical mass we are reaching out to H4.0E Ambassadors.
H4.0E Long term Effects Ambassador programme:
3cea cooperated with OSL on facilitating the ambassador workshop on the 14th of April 2021. Here we presented the H4.0E project, especially the platform to project-related stakeholders, which are potential Ambassadors for H4.0E. Our Ambassador programme includes the engagement of Stakeholders to ensure the lasting legacy of the Housing H4.0E project. H4.0E Ambassadors will engage with the H4.0E locally, regionally, nationally and at EU levels throughout the project lifetime and beyond to leverage H4.0E policy recommendations and traction amongst the industry to thus ensure the adoption of the H4.0E approach for future delivery. A H4.0E Ambassador can be someone who comes from a technical context such as Builders, Tradespeople, Architects, Designers, Housing Associations or from a non-technical background such as Politicians, local authority employee’s, social influencers, policymakers, etc. Regardless of their position, they must be comfortable and able to help the planned H4.0E “roll out” through dissemination and promotion of findings and results, which is essential for building capacity, feasibility, and longevity of the programme. 3cea are in progress with our program and reach out and could appoint Marion Jammet (IGBC). Almere appointed Marnix Norder (Steenvlinder): Please reach out for Ambassadors. And we are looking for more technical and non Technical Ambassadors and support for the H4.0E project here in Ireland.
H4.OE Pilot update:
These pilot buildings are developed by the Sub-Project Partner, County Councils of Wexford, Carlow, and Kilkenny are working on two construction types, Insulation Concrete Framework (ICF) and Timber Frame. We are supporting our Sub Partners with the results of our continuous research work. This is to establish methods of reducing embodied CO2 emission within the Sub partner’s tender documents and final constructions. This will aid in achieving the set H4.0E targets with the pilots and further upscaling developments. We are advising our sub-partners to use our presented first fabric approach within the initial design stages for the pilot and following upscaling process. Here is the focus on low carbon building material and low carbon construction types, before considering building supply systems. A Prefabricated Timber frame system with implemented low carbon building material is one solution. Another solution is Insulation concrete Framework (ICF). For all projects, it is essential to use low-carbon cement composites. Here we advise using the highest possible GGBS ratio in concrete building elements like ground floor slabs, foundations, render and screed. All this was reflected in the tender documents for the pilots in Kilkenny and Carlow. These projects are in the Tender stage and got the return from e=tenders. These Tenders are in review by their QS department at the moment.