Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Decarbonisation of the EU building stock: innovative approaches and affordable solutions changing the market for buildings renovation

Topic identifier: LC-SC3-EE-1-2018-2019-2020
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Planned opening date:
12 March 2019
Deadline: 03 September 2019 17:00:00

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Planned opening date:
25 January 2018
Deadline: 13 September 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Secure, clean and efficient energy
Topic Updates
  • 01 March 2018 12:48

     IMPORTANT - Page limits applicable to proposals

    Applicants are allowed to remove the page break in the cover page of the template for the technical annex, i.e. the proposal text can start on the cover page.

  • 16 February 2018 14:16

    The Frequently Asked Questions for topic LC-SC3-EE-1-2018-2019-2020 can be accessed here.

  • 25 January 2018 11:18

    For topics LC-SC3-EE-1-2018-2019-2020 and LC-SC3-EE-6-2018-2019-2020 the threshold for the criteria Excellence and Impact will be 4. The overall threshold, applying to the sum of the three individual scores, will be 12. This will be applicable for the relevant call for proposals in 2018 and 2019 subject to the update of the H2020 Work Programme in summer 2018.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The market for deep renovation of buildings needs to be transformed in terms of technologies, processes and business models. The multiple benefits of improved energy efficiency are well known, but more action is needed for Europe to achieve the higher rates of renovation that would reduce energy use and decarbonize the building stock in order to meet long-term climate and energy targets. In particular, deep renovations need to become more attractive to all relevant stakeholders, more reliable in terms of performance, less disruptive for occupants (especially in residential buildings), less time-consuming, less energy-intensive from a life cycle perspective, more environmentally friendly regarding applied materials and more cost-effective. There is a need to demonstrate and roll out holistic consumer-centred solutions that involve the whole value chain, ensuring high levels of comfort and a high quality of the indoor environment.


Proposals should demonstrate solutions addressing building fabric and/or technical systems that ensure faster and more cost-effective deep renovations that result in high energy performance. Proposals should include innovations in technology and in design and construction methods with low embodied energy and on-site works organisation, industrialization and lowering cost of energy retrofitting and they should take into account any architectural constraints. They should also include innovations in business models and the holistic integration of disciplines across the value chain. Proposals should also consider energy efficient and low carbon solutions to retrofit building-level heating and cooling systems and the integration of on-site renewable energy generation[1], energy storage systems which allow for optimisation and flexible consumption, and, if relevant, integration with district heating and cooling systems. Proposals could address drivers of building renovation that go beyond a desire to reduce energy consumption and related energy costs. For example, decisions to renovate may sometimes coincide with structural repairs. They could also consider further development and improvement of hybrid energy systems using fossil fuel based heating systems coupled with RES based heating systems as well as the integration of highly-efficient buildings and local energy system solutions such as District Heating and Cooling, including hybrid solutions.

Solutions should include quick and simple installation of components and systems, minimizing disruption for building occupants and the time spent on site. Proposals should include monitoring and displaying of real time energy performance and other relevant data and consider the ways in which consumers and others could access and make use of such information. Solutions should ensure high levels of occupant comfort (thermal, visual and acoustic) and indoor environmental quality (e.g. air quality, humidity) if possible based on bio-based materials, as well as low risk of moisture-related problems, summer overheating and other harmful unintended consequences, and should address the multiple benefits of energy efficiency. Proposals should demonstrate solutions that aim for large scale roll-out according to defined business models and financial schemes for owners.

Projects are expected to bring the technology to TRL level 8-9 (please see part G of the General Annexes).

This topic contributes to the roadmap of the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) cPPP.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 4 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:

Proposals are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below using quantified indicators and targets wherever possible:

  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year);
  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (in million Euro);
  • High energy performance in the renovated buildings;
  • Measurable cost reduction compared with a typical renovation (i.e. a renovation that meets current minimum requirements of existing building regulations) or major energy performance improvement at comparable cost;
  • Reduction of time needed on site for renovation works by 20% compared to current national standard practice;
  • Demonstration of the effectiveness and replicability of the proposed solutions to lead to an increased rate of renovation for defined building typologies in several districts/cities/regions.

Additional positive effects can be quantified and reported when relevant and wherever possible:

  • Reduction of the greenhouse gases emissions (in tCO2-eq/year) and/or air pollutants (in kg/year) triggered by the project.
Delegation Exception Footnote:

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Clean Energy
Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs)

[1]possible synergies with RES-3-2018: Renewable energy system integrated at a building or an industrial site, RES-4-2018: Increased performance of technologies for shallow geothermal heating and cooling solutions and their integration in the energy system, RES-5-2018: Demonstrate significant cost reduction for built-in PV solutions for "(nearly) Zero Energy Buildingsā€

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.  

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme. 
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

In line with the other topics for Innovation Actions contributing to the PPP on Energy-efficient Buildings and SPIRE, the threshold for the criteria Excellence and Impact will be 4. The overall threshold, applying to the sum of the three individual scores, will be 12.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
10. Secure, clean and efficient energy WP 2018-20
12. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


Additional documents

  • Flash call info en en

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