LIFE ReNaturalNZEB - Recycled and Natural Materials and Products to develop nearly zero energy buildings with low carbon footprint

LIFE17 ENV/ES/000329

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Contact details:

Contact person: Alfonso Gómez Goñi
Email: esther.gamero@juntaex.es

Project description:


The building sector is one of the highest consumers of resources in EU. Throughout each step in the life cycle of buildings, from raw material extraction, building material manufacturing, construction, and use and maintenance, vast amounts of energy and natural resources are consumed. Buildings account for the largest share of total final energy consumed in the EU and account for 35% of the regionsgreenhouse gas emissions. In line with the recent roadmap to a resource efficient Europe, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the EU Energy efficiency directive, national authorities and Europes construction sector are searching for materials and technologies to reduce unnecessary resource consumption, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and minimise the energy demand of buildings in the EU.


The objective of the LIFE ReNaturalNZEB project is to demonstrate and promote solutions for nearly zero energy buildings an EU construction standard requiring exceptionally high energy performance. Ten new constructions and renovations in Spain and Portugal will cut their carbon footprint and building costs by replacing heavy building materials with environmentally sustainable alternatives. Project partners will adopt green criteria and circular economy approaches in sourcing these components from natural and recycled materials that weigh on average half as much as their industrial counterparts. The substitution is expected to reduce energy demand in buildings by up to 80% supporting targets set out in the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The project will organise dozens of face-to-face events and produce construction guidelines to raise awareness among building sector professionals and the general public of the environmental and financial benefits that zero energy buildings have to offer.

Expected results:

  • Install 10 prototype technologies based on natural and recycled materials in new and rehabilitated buildings;
  • Reduce CO2 emissions embedded in the construction and rehabilitation of 10 pilot buildings by 60%;
  • Reduce building energy demand in Portugal and Spain from 100 to 20 kWh/m a year;
  • Cut construction waste by half compared to Portuguese and Spanish standards;
  • Create 10 jobs related to the development and adoption of green technologies;
  • Train 1 500 technicians and 500 construction workers to design and build nearly zero energy buildings;
  • Pass regulations on using natural and recycled materials in the construction sector;
  • Perform three environmental and economic studies on the viability of technologies based on natural and recycled materials in the construction sector; and
  • Organise seminars, workshops and expert courses, andproduce guidelines for the public to raise awareness on technologies based on natural and recycled materials in the construction sector.



Environmental issues addressed:


Energy - Savings
Industry-Production - Building


emission reduction‚  waste reduction‚  recycling‚  building material‚  environmental training‚  building industry‚  energy efficiency‚  resource conservation

Target EU Legislation

  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • Directive 2010/31 - Energy performance of buildings (19.05.2010)
  • COM(2011)885 - EU 2050 Energy Roadmap (15.12.2011)
  • Directive 2012/27 - Energy efficiency (25.10.2012)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Type of organisation Regional authority
Description DG ARQ_Jex is the Department of Architecture of the Regional Government of Extremadura, in southern Spain. The government body is responsible for policy development in architecture and housing. Its extensive experience in these fields overlaps with a particular interest in energy efficiency in social housing and public buildings.
Partners Centro de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas de Extremadura, Spain Instituto Tecnológico de Rocas Ornamentales y Materiales de Construcción, Spain Instituto de Investigação e Desenvolvimento Tecnológico para a Construção, Energia, Ambiente e Sustentabilidade, Portugal Universidad de Córdoba, Spain URVIPEXSA S.A., Spain Amorim Isolamentos S.A., Portugal


Project reference LIFE17 ENV/ES/000329
Duration 01-SEP-2018 to 01-SEP -2021
Total budget 2,079,415.00 €
EU contribution 1,230,359.00 €
Project location Extremadura(España) Centro(Portugal)


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version