The NEES Project investigated the potential and feasibility of popularising the application of renewable and recycled natural materials for the production and installation of products to improve the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings. The project also identified and promoted local design and installation services available for the application of these products or based on sustainable natural processes.
There has been considerable commercial development of high-tech solutions for energy efficiency, including chemical and industrially manufactured products and processes, nanotechnology, the use of IT in smart buildings and smart grids. In contrast, there has been a notable lack of research and development of products and services based on natural products and processes.
The skills required in the production of sustainable products and services are usually found locally, and their installation is often based on traditional skills and local resources. If properly identified and developed these products and services could provide much needed jobs and training opportunities, and new green enterprises.
These products are by their nature linked to diversification of agricultural production, so they could have a positive effect on agricultural diversification and on biodiversity on the one hand, and on new and on diversification of rural economies on the other.
Energy efficiency and sustainable development are two of the European Union’s main priorities, as reflected in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the Energy Services Directive (ESD) and the Eco Design of Energy Using Products Directive (Up), and the requirement for all Member States to National Energy Efficiency Action Plans.
A summary of the NEES Business Feasibility Study is available below together with business feasibility studies for 5 example NEES Products and Services: