NEES Partners are committed to continuing and developing the work of the NEES Project, in identifying, promoting and disseminating the application and benefits of natural and recycled construction materials, sourced and available locally in the NPP region, and the design and training services which enable their use. In pursuit of this, we have submitted two further proposals for EU funding to continue the project:
1. NEES House PP – Natural Energy Efficient and Sustainable House Preparatory Project
The NEES House Preparatory Project aimed to investigate the feasibility of developing and implementing a full NPP Project under the 2014 – 2020 Programme, which will be launched in September 2014. The aim of this Preparatory Project was to follow on and develop themes and activities initiated within the NEES Project No. 6.7, (2011-2014). The NEES Project identified and promoted products and services provided by SME’s in the NPP Region, which met the comprehensive NEES Criteria for sustainability.
The NEES House Preparatory Project proposal, aimed at the Northern Periphery Programme, aimed to build on this work by carrying out the following:
- Scoping the feasibility of a ”NEES House Standard” for retrofit and new building, based primarily on the use of natural and recycled materials and their associated processes, and found normally in the Northern Periphery Programme Region.
- Developing the NEES Best Practice Criteria and assessment procedures, to expand the transparent assessment and evaluation of products, services, and whole house project using this standard or in relation to it.
- Developing 6 Pilot Projects in the NPP region that reflect the new NEES House Standard, and the products and services that will help developers to achieve this standard.
- Developing academic and vocational training on the NEES House Standard, for students, professionals and the public.
- Developing the NEES Network that spans the entire NPP region, to promote and disseminate the Standard and the Best Practices identified. This Network will comprise producers, service providers, architects and surveyors, energy assessors, academic and vocational training organisations, and private and social developers, which are interested in the application of this Standard as a Benchmark.
The NEES House Preparatory Project also proposed to develop the NEES Best Practice Criteria and Assessment Procedure developed by the Project, looking specifically at 5 key areas:
- Resource and Energy Efficiency and Waste
- Environment and Health
Unfortunately, the proposal was not selected by the Programme. However, the NEES Partners are currently considering the submission of a further NEES Bid to NPP for the 2014 – 2020 Programme.
2. NATLOW CO2 (Achieving naturally low embodied carbon and energy over the life-cycle of buildings)
This follow-on project was submitted in March 2014 by Cork Centre for Architectural Education and other NEES Partners, together with new Partners from Sweden, Spain and Belgium.
The Objectives of the NATLOW CO2 Project, submitted by CCAE on behalf of NEES Partners and other agencies, were the following:
- To identify renewable and recycled materials that are, or can be developed into new materials, solutions and components to build or retrofit the envelope of buildings.
- To monitor and evaluate the performance of these materials, and to enhance and design them into new components, improving their thermal performance, reducing their embodied energy and embodied carbon, reducing energy in use, improving insulation qualities, reducing costs, and demonstrating a range of other benefits, throughout the lifecycle of both the materials and the refurbished buildings.
- To demonstrate their potential for scalability and the meeting of industrial and operation needs, to level TRL7, and to address the current barriers to their widespread deployment.
- To develop and promote these materials, deploying them at operational level in five different European regions, and applying a clear methodology, selecting appropriate tools, for the monitoring and evaluation of their performance.
Materials and derivatives developed would be at least 60% of renewable or recycled origin. Partners aimed to research baseline and technical information from suppliers to allow a preliminary evaluation of these materials against the 12 Criteria listed below, before proceeding with their development and deployment. The Criteria consists of six primary criteria (C1-C6) and six secondary criteria (C7-C12). The aim was to select and demonstrate materials, components and solutions that meet a majority of both primary and secondary criteria.
The criteria would be weighted such that a limited number of suppliers of materials and solutions, which will be deployed in five different “demonstrator”, retrofit projects in five different Partner regions. These demonstrators were identified in advance, and would be confirmed as the project unfolded. The diversity and appropriateness of the demonstrators and the different materials to be deployed would be evaluated before and after their installation. Appropriate infrastructure for the monitoring and evaluation of the performance of 15 new and new-to-market materials, to be deployed in the demonstrators would be installed. The impact at the production stage would be monitored, as well as the impact at the use stage. Information would be carefully analysed and evaluated and used in the production of dissemination and vocational training materials to promote and facilitate the use of these materials.
This follow on proposal was submitted in March 2014 and rejected in August 2014 by the Commission.
3 Other Proposals.
In spite of the set-backs noted above, NEES Partners are committed to finding programmes and developing projects that will allow the continuation of the work of the NEES Project. At present we are assessing:
- A further Bid to the new Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme.
- Proposal to other Interreg Regional Programmes involving other countries (e.g Spain).
- A further Bid to Horizon 2020 under another Call.
Partners are open to suggestions from prospective Partners or Associates regarding appropriate funding programmes or initiatives that might help continue the work of the NEES Project.
If you are interested in participating in a future project or have a proposal that you believe might allow the work of NEES to be continued, please contact us:
Cork Centre for Architectural Education