EEB-08-2017: New business models for energy-efficient buildings through adaptable refurbishment solutions

Main pillar: 

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


54 000 000



Call deadline: 

Thu, 19 Jan 2017


  • Forthcoming


Specific Challenge:

The most important benefit associated with the refurbishment of an existing building comes from improving the energy performance, which gives an essential contribution to reach the EU 2020 consumption goals, taking into account that buildings represent 40% of the energy use in the EU. A key challenge for its large-scale implementation is the necessity to manage a broader involvement of stakeholders representing different interests and different responsibilities influencing the potential solutions and actions. This regards not only the choice of technologies, but also the design and renovation methods, as well as a number of socio-economic issues.

Nowadays, decentralised energy generation technologies have been demonstrated in a number of building applications in Europe and beyond but large scale uptake and business deployment of these technologies is still in its early stage. Currently, the renovation level is about 1.2% of the building stock in Europe per year and it should increase, according to the European Performance Building Directive (EPBD), to 2 - 3 % per year until 2030. Innovative business models which allow consumers and the market to invest with confidence in long term operation, maintenance, reliability and service levels need to be developed.


Activities should focus on the benchmark and the assessment of innovative business models, evaluating different refurbishment packages enabling the selection of the most attractive and efficient ones for different building types (residential/District Heating Cooling connected) and climatic conditions, taking the maximum advantage of user behaviour and geo-clustering.

Adequate assessment tools and the methodological challenges facing analyses addressing the issue of comprehensive analytical approaches in order to inform business decisions in this respect need to be discussed. Life cycle models as input to the decision making process in the feasibility phase of the renovation project also need to be considered.

Proposals need to assess different highly resource-efficient business models for refurbishing buildings including the assessment of the possibilities provided by public procurement of innovative solutions, appropriate combinations of public and private funding, or only private funding. These concepts need to be developed taking into account the building owners, the socio-economic impacts, and the current EU crisis.

Proposals should also develop effective methods for steering and governance especially paying attention to the local scale, including the variety of actions by cities and municipalities that can define obligations or encourage voluntary actions. In particular the business models developed should support the preparation of innovation-related public building procurements by local/regional/national authorities or at European level, taking into account the needs of the public sector with regard to high-performance buildings (new or retrofitted ones).

The business models should cover the complete cycle as from the design phase of the building: decentralised energy generation technologies, integration, installation, commissioning, operation, servicing and maintenance, etc. In this framework, activities should cover business model design and optimisation, market and customer segmentation approaches for decentralised energy generation, consumer behaviour and decision driver research for optimising business model structures, supply chain and concept delivery optimisation, new earning models and financing mechanisms. In addition, proposers should also seek solutions to increase participation of stakeholders, considering methods to engage end users living in the buildings/neighbourhood and methods to increase the interest and commitment of building owners and market partners.

Socio-economic impacts of refurbishment should be taken into account considering the possibly drastic effects of high renovation costs on house owners and tenants, and seeking possible solutions to reduce costs, as well as addressing the needed commitment by users to energy efficiency after renovation.

Clear evidence of technical, environmental and economic viability should be provided. The possibility to engage municipalities planning to integrate renewable energy sources in the built environment could be an added value.

This topic is particularly suitable for SMEs.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 500000 and 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Cost-effectiveness of the renovation compared to current costs.
  • Adaptive renovation packages with high energy efficiency and low environmental impact.
  • Increased awareness of and commitment to improved energy-efficiency of the building stock.
  • Increased capacity of municipalities to effect the renovation of building stocks, in particular through the use of public procurement tools.
  • Better quality standards and performance guarantees while improving indoor environment and remaining cost-effective.
  • More involvement of customers/users in the integrated–innovative business model solutions.

Call documents: