Building and Renovating
Building a cleaner future begins, literally, with the construction industry, currently identified as a major potential source of energy saving. GEOCOND and Zero-Plus are two of the EU-backed consortiums in which both Israeli industry and academia are contributing
The construction, use and renovation of buildings require significant amounts of energy and resources, such as sand, gravel and cement. Together with the need for better energy performance of buildings, the European Commission has adopted a series of measures including price differentiations to incentivize energy-efficient buildings, building designs that are in line with the circular economy, increased digitalization, more climate-proofing of buildings, and strict enforcement of rules on energy performance of buildings.
The Commission will launch an open platform bringing together the buildings and construction sector, architects and engineers and local authorities to develop innovative financing possibilities, promote energy efficiency investments in buildings, and pool renovation efforts into large blocks to benefit from economies of scale. Particular attention will be paid to the renovation of social housing to help households who struggle to pay their energy bills.
Harnessing Shallow Geothermal Systems and Underground Thermal Storage to Create Cleaner Energy
Although heat from the Earth is in plentiful supply, 75% of EU buildings are energy inefficient and therefore represent large untapped potential for efforts aimed at decarbonizing the EU economy, ensuring security of supply, and providing cost savings to households and businesses alike.
Shallow Geothermal Energy Systems (SGES) are a stable, reliable and renewable energy source, capable of both heating and cooling with unparalleled efficiency. Alongside the need to remove market barriers and gain competitiveness, efforts are underway to develop the next generation of geothermal systems with new materials for further penetration of the construction and renovation markets. Improved heating and cooling storage technologies could benefit greatly from enhanced Underground Thermal Energy Storage (UTES) technologies. The GECOND consortium is developing solutions to increase the thermal performance of the different subsystems with the goal of reducing overall costs by about 25%. GEOCOND will focus on four key development areas: development of new pipe materials, advanced grouting additives and concepts, advanced Phase Change Materials and system-wide simulation and optimization.
Among the partners in the consortium is Israeli company Carmel Olefins – part of the Bazan Group. Carmel has recently developed a novel materials engineering concept for facile production of thermoplastic, recyclable, Shape Stable (SS) PCM suitable for use in various TES applications, a concept that has already been successfully applied in developments for domestic hot water applications.
Carmel Olefins is not only involved in developing SS PCM for use in SGE systems, but also in developing construction materials with increased thermal mass. Beyond the obvious commercial benefits, these efforts are undertaken with a conscious sense of social responsibility. As Dr. Michael Shuster, the company representative to GEOCOND explains: "Carmel Olefins feels social responsibility to improve efficiency of energy use, and to contribute to energy-saving projects and information dissemination activity to raise public awareness of energy-saving."
Project Acronym: GEOCOND
Grant agreement ID: 727583
EU contribution: € 3,955,740
Start date: 1 May 2017; End date: 31 October 2020
Topic(s): LCE-07-2016-2017 - Developing the next generation technologies of renewable electricity and heating/cooling
Call for proposal: H2020-LCE-2016-RES-CCS-RIA
Coordinator: Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (Spain)
Israeli participant: Carmel Olefins Ltd
> CORDIS link
> EC Success story
The construction, use and renovation of buildings require significant amounts of energy and resources, such as sand, gravel and cement. To meet the need for better energy performance of buildings, the European Commission has adopted a series of measures aimed at revolutionizing the construction and renovation industries
Zero and Positive Energy Settlements
The ZERO-PLUS consortium is developing and implementing a comprehensive, cost-effective system for Net Zero Energy (NZE) settlements. This system will be composed of innovative solutions for the building envelope, for building energy generation and management, and for energy management at the settlement level. A reduction of operational energy usage will be achieved through a transition from single NZE buildings to NZE settlements, in which the energy loads and resources are optimally managed.
"This project has definite positive ramifications for existing cities, but the main potential exists in new cities currently being planned in Europe. By upscaling the positive results achieved so far, we hope to help facilitate a new generation of zero-energy European towns and cities", says Dr. Shabtai Issac from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, one of the projects initiators.
A primary objective of the project will be to develop a system whose investment costs will be at least 16% lower than current costs. In order to reduce "balance of system" costs, an approach of mass customization will be employed. Mass produced technologies will be integrated in a system that is optimally designed according to the local climate and site of each project.
The project's work program will ensure a rapid market uptake of the innovative solutions under development. These will be implemented in four different demonstration projects throughout the EU, with varying climates and building types. The results of their implementation will be monitored, analyzed and disseminated. A comprehensive market analysis and business plan will support the commercial exploitation of the project's results. The project will be carried out by a consortium that includes universities, project owners, technology providers and organizations, which will closely collaborate in all the project's phases.
Project Acronym: ZERO-PLUS
Grant agreement: 678407
EU contribution: € 3,512,024.38
Start date: 1 October 2015 End date: 30 September 2020
Topic(s): EE-02-2015 - Buildings design for new highly energy performing buildings
Call for proposal: H2020-EE-2015-1-PPP
Coordinator: Ethnikó ke Kapodistriakó Panepistímio Athinón (Greece)
Israeli participants: Ben-Gurion University of The Negev
> CORDIS link