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TOPIC : Increasing energy performance of existing buildings through process and organisation innovations and creating a market for deep renovation

Topic identifier: EE-05-2015
Publication date: 11 December 2013

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
10 December 2014
Deadline: 04 June 2015 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020
Topic Description

Specific challenge: The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive contain provisions to increase renovation rates, especially for public buildings. However non-technological barriers hamper the implementation of these provisions and also prevent other market actors in the residential and private sectors from following the example that the public sector is expected to set.

The heterogeneity of the construction industry, the large number of companies and the relative lack of quality standards and inspection protocols and guidelines limit the number and impact of large-scale energy efficiency investments and the effective integration of renewable energies. Many buildings are not commissioned and/or operated properly and energy performance certificates have not yet gained full public acceptance. The pressure to build or renovate towards nearly zero-energy buildings means that the building sector needs to significantly upgrade its working practices.

In addition there is a need to develop a marketplace for deep renovation[1] packages. Currently, there is limited articulated demand from building owners for significant energy performance improvements in existing buildings. Supply side, demand side and public authorities need to cooperate and find solutions that drive compelling offers for building owners, and simultaneously lift as many barriers as possible.

Scope: Proposals should focus on removing market barriers. They should focus on coherent interventions across issues and across actors to drive structural improvement in market conditions (i.e. those able to significantly influence buildings energy use in different sectors including building owners/operators, public authorities, construction and maintenance industry, housing associations, developers, financiers, etc.). All building types may be covered; however the main focus should be on existing buildings, in particular the most inefficient ones, as they represent the largest savings potential. Proposals should create synergies by incorporating at least one of the following three elements:

  • Driving product and process innovation in the construction sector to improve product offerings by creating an early market.
  • Development, testing and/or implementation of regulations; property valuation techniques; decision-making tools for renovation strategies; quality standards; and/or inspection and monitoring mechanisms to bridge the gap between expected and actual energy performance.
  • Enabling conditions to finance deep renovation of buildings (including through process and organisation innovation).

Optional additional activities may include:

  • Support for the implementation of the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in Member States by promoting dialogue and exchange of best practices; complementing activities of the EPBD Concerted Action[2].
  • Support to the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive as regards its provisions on 'long-term strategies for mobilising investment in the renovation of the national stock of residential and commercial buildings' (Article 4) and the renovation of central government buildings' (Article 5); complementing activities of the EED Concerted Action[3]. Proposals should not replace activities that are under the responsibility of Member States but add European value to these activities (e.g. exchange of knowledge and experience between organisations from different countries).
  • Methods to increase the share of on-site and nearby-generated renewable energy in order to achieve nearly zero-energy buildings performance levels (or better).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1.5 and 2 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 triggering the renovation of existing buildings towards high energy performance, or raising quality and compliance, should result in savings of at least 25 GWh/year per million EUR of EU support. Impacts should also be measured in terms of investment made by stakeholders in sustainable energy; better implementation of energy-efficiency policies; and number of policy makers or building owners/operators influenced.

Type of action: Coordination and Support Actions

[1] Deep (or major) renovation means the renovation of a building where: (a) the total cost of the renovation relating to the building envelope or the technical building systems is higher than 25 % of the value of the building, excluding the value of the land upon which the building is situated; orĀ  (b) more than 25 % of the surface of the building envelope undergoes renovation (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive)



Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme with the following exceptions:
    - at least three legal entities shall participate in an action;
    - each of the three legal entities shall be established in a different Member State or Associated Country;
    - all three legal entities shall be independent of each other within the meaning of Article 8 of the rules of participation.
  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    3.2 Guide to the submission and evaluation process
  4. Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.
  5. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:
    One-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the final date for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 3 months from the date of informing successful applicants.
  6. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Coordination and Support Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template (administrative forms and structure of technical annex)
    Standard evaluation form
    Annotated Model Grant Agreement
  7. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
    Classified information
    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.
    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.


Additional documents

  • Frequently Asked Questions en
  • Legal basis - Framework Programme H2020 en
  • Legal basis - Specific Programme H2020 en
  • WP H2020 - 1. Introduction en
  • WP H2020 - 10. Secure, clean and efficient energy en
  • WP H2020 - 19. General Annexes en

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