EEB-07-2017: Integration of energy harvesting at building and district level

Main pillar: 

  • Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology


54 000 000



Call deadline: 

Thu, 19 Jan 2017


  • Forthcoming


Specific Challenge:

Integration of energy harvesting approaches is a major challenge, in particular the development and integration of different renewable energy sources at building and district scale.

The envelope should be considered as an active and/or adaptive skin that interacts with the external environment and strongly influences the building energy performance and indoor comfort. Indeed, in view of a large-scale deployment of nearly-zero energy solutions in existing buildings, besides reducing energy demand through highly insulating materials and reduction measures, the possibility to harvest energy in the building envelope is of great importance.

The district dimension should be taken into account, both because of a higher potential for integration and optimisation of renewable energy sources, and because of the potential of additional energy harvesting approaches.


Proposals should aim at maximising the harvesting of renewable energy (for heating, cooling, electricity, domestic hot water, etc.) at building and district scale (e.g. exploiting large renewable energy source installations and heating and cooling networks). Research results should contribute to drastic energy saving and CO2 emission reduction while enabling massive replication in low zero energy buildings and energy self-sufficient districts. the focus is on a cost-effective and easy installation in a wide variety of buildings and surroundings.

Buildings are connected with various entities like suppliers and distribution system operators through different networks (internet, smart meter linked to the grid, energy storage systems, electric vehicles, etc.). Therefore, proposals should take into account an appropriate integration of monitoring and control systems for the developed solutions, combining, where relevant, additional functionalities such as safety and security.

Proposals should be flexible enough to cope with different designs and architectural concepts, with components being especially shaped and integrating different material combinations (such as glass, pre-casted elements, membranes).

The modular dimension is important to allow a cost-effective and easy installation in a wide variety of buildings and processing practices.

Proposals should enable a reduction of maintenance and operation costs, in particular when many sensors and actuators are cost-effectively distributed throughout the envelope.

Applicability in different geographical areas is important.

Clear evidence of technical and economic viability should be provided by validating and demonstrating the proposed adaptable envelope in real case retrofitting projects.

Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 5 to 7 and to be centred around TRL 6.

A significant participation of SMEs with R&D capacities is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requiring other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • The cost related to new technologies should not exceed conventional standard building costs by more than 20%.
  • Demonstration of the replicability potential in a real case-study.
  • Solutions with a payback period of below 10 years.
  • The integrated harvesting systems will cover at least 30-40 % of the overall energy demand for new buildings and 20% for renovated buildings.

Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of the Work Programme.

Call documents: