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Call: Industrialisation of deep renovation workflows for energy-efficient buildings

Acronym HE-CL5-D4
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 4: Efficient, sustainable and inclusive energy use"

This Destination addresses activities targeting the energy demand side, notably a more efficient use of energy as regards buildings and industry.

Demand side solutions and improved energy efficiency are among the most cost effective ways to support the transition to climate neutrality, reduce pollution and raw materials use, to create inclusive growth and employment in Europe, to bring down costs for consumers, to reduce our import dependency and redirect investments towards smart and sustainable infrastructure. The transition to a decentralised and climate neutral energy system will greatly benefit from the use of digital technologies which will enable buildings and industrial facilities to become inter-active elements in the energy system by optimising energy consumption, distributed generation and storage and vis-à-vis the energy system. They will also trigger new business opportunities and revenue streams for up-graded, innovative energy services which valorise energy savings and flexible consumption.

This Destination contributes to the following Strategic Plan’s Key Strategic Orientations (KSO):

  • C: Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy through the transformation of its mobility, energy, construction and production systems;
  • A: Promoting an open strategic autonomy[[‘Open strategic autonomy’ refers to the term ‘strategic autonomy while preserving an open economy’, as reflected in the conclusions of the European Council 1 – 2 October 2020.]] by leading the development of key digital, enabling and emerging technologies, sectors and value chains to accelerate and steer the digital and green transitions through human-centred technologies and innovations.

It covers the following impact areas:

  • Industrial leadership in key and emerging technologies that work for people;
  • Affordable and clean energy;
  • Circular and clean economy.

The expected impact, in line with the Strategic Plan, is to contribute to the “Efficient and sustainable use of energy, accessible for all is ensured through a clean energy system and a just transition”, notably through

  1. Technological and socio-economic breakthroughs for achieving climate neutrality and the transition to zero pollution of the building stock by 2050, based on inclusive and people-centric R&I (more detailed information below).
  2. Increased energy efficiency in industry and reducing industry’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and air pollutant emissions through recovery, upgrade and/or conversion of industrial excess (waste) heat and through electrification of heat generation (more information below).

Other Horizon Europe Clusters include topics and activities that can be relevant to this Destination, e.g. in order to seek synergies. These include (but are not limited to) the following:

Cluster 2:

  • Destination 2 – Innovative Research on the European Cultural Heritage and the Cultural and Creative Industries. That Destination is most relevant for the topics which scope addresses heritage buildings.
  • Destination 3 - Innovative Research on Social and Economic Transformations. That Destination is most relevant for the social innovation items included in some of the topics.

Cluster 3:

  • Destination 4 – Increased Cybersecurity. This potential link is most relevant for the topics that address smart buildings and digitalisation of buildings.
  • Destination 5 – A Disaster-Resilient Society for Europe. This potential link can be relevant for the topics that address the resilience of the building stock.

Cluster 4: the whole cluster is relevant, in particular Destination 1 – Climate Neutral, circular and digitised production, which is highly relevant for all topics on buildings (e.g. for the digitalisation of construction / renovation workflows).

Cluster 6:

  • Destination 3 – Circular economy and bioeconomy sectors and Destination 4 – Clean environment and zero pollution. This potential link is relevant for all topics, in particular those that address sustainable renovation of buildings.

Beyond Horizon Europe, other programmes include some components with which synergies and complementarities can be found. For instance, the Clean Energy Transition and Circular Economy sub-programmes under LIFE can contribute to the market uptake of the innovation delivered under this Destination. The Digital Europe programme includes actions that can be relevant to consider in relation to the topics that entail the development or use of (big) data approaches.

Highly energy-efficient and climate neutral European building stock

Topics under this Destination targeting highly energy-efficient and climate-neutral European building stock focus on both, the energy challenge in buildings and, more broadly, the transformation of the built environment towards more sustainable living.

In line with the new European Bauhaus aiming to “bring the European Green Deal to life in an attractive, and innovative and human-centred way”, the sustainable built environment should go beyond merely improving the energy and resource efficiency of buildings and also include a qualitative, aesthetic and human dimension. At the intersection of science, technology and the arts, new creative design and architectural solutions should be developed to ensure the sustainable renovation of the existing European building stock for the well-being of its users. In particular the renovation or adaptive reuse of historical and heritage buildings and sites needs to embrace quality principles to safeguard the cultural values of Europe’s historical environment and local architectural identity.

Topics targeting energy efficiency in buildings under this Destination seek to achieve the following impacts:

  • More energy efficient building stocks supported by an accurate understanding of buildings performance in Europe and of related evolutions.
  • Building stocks that effectively combine energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and digital and smart technologies to support the transformation of the energy system towards climate neutrality.

Addressing the broader transformation of the built environment, though, requires a larger involvement of all players across the built environment value chain and throughout building life cycle. To this end, a co-programmed European Partnership on a people-centric, sustainable built environment has been set up (Built4People) to develop holistic R&I for an effective transition to sustainability. All Horizon Europe R&I actions addressing the challenges related to the buildings and construction sector will contribute to achieving the Built4People Partnership goals and will benefit from the coordinated approach within the community of its partners and stakeholders. Topics contributing to the implementation of the Built4People European Partnership seek to achieve the following impacts:

  • Higher buildings’ performance with lower environmental impacts through increased rates of holistic renovations.
  • Higher quality, more affordable built environment preserving climate and environment, and safeguarding cultural heritage and ensuring better living conditions.

Industrial facilities in the energy transition

Topics on industrial facilities in the energy transition supported under this Destination focus on thermal energy management in industry. The bulk of R&I activities related to industry is however supported under Cluster 4 “Digital, Industry and Space”.

Link Link to Programme
Industrialisation of deep renovation workflows for energy-efficient buildings
Description of call
"Industrialisation of deep renovation workflows for energy-efficient buildings"

Expected Outcome

Project results are expected to contribute to some of the following expected outcomes:

  • Significant improvement in productivity of construction and renovation processes for energy-efficient buildings, supporting an increase in scale in the renovation process and streamlining resource efficient nearly zero-energy performance renovation: 30 % waste reduction; improved quality of renovation; at least 30% and towards 50% reduction of on-site construction / renovation work time and 25% costs reduction.
  • More affordable renovation projects for owners, for all building types but with a specific focus on residential buildings.
  • Enhanced quality of construction, backed up by post-occupancy evaluations, also supporting a better integration of design and construction activities, streamlining commissioning of buildings, in particular in relation to energy management but also taking into account cross-cutting issues such as accessibility of buildings.
  • Reduced performance gap between as-built and as-designed (difference between theoretical and measured performance), allowing tracking performance across the life cycle.
  • Increased trust towards construction and renovation processes, by allowing tracking energy performance across the life-cycle.
  • Upskilled workforce for industrialised renovation workflows, including automated and robotised construction / renovation, relying on interoperable digital modelling data.
  • Enhanced safety of the construction workforce and increased acceptance of robotic support for deep renovation.
  • Innovative, tailored business models for deep renovation allowing increased scale of renovation, generating economies of scale and increasing the potential for attractive and affordable packages for end users including financing.
  • Tailored access to building information across the life cycle for relevant stakeholders (owners, facility managers, contractors, public authorities).
  • Integration with distributed renewable energy sources in neighbourhoods and districts, favouring the emergence of related initiatives (e.g. renewable energy communities).
  • Enhanced synergies of renovation with local resources, e.g. district heating & cooling networks.


Several recent projects & calls have focused on prefabrication for deep renovation, but more work is needed to innovate seamless workflows from design through to offsite manufacture, installation, and compliance checking on site, also ensuring due consideration of life cycle performance. There is also a need for more demonstrations across the EU.

Proposals should:

  • Investigate innovative approaches for industrialised deep renovation, covering the whole workflow from design through to offsite manufacture, installation, compliance checking on site and end strategies for maintenance, operation and end of life.
  • Make use of innovative processes and technologies, including those delivered by previous research such as design based on circularity principles, prefabricated components and digital tools, that allow to optimise workflows (cost, time, quality, resource use).
  • Develop significantly improved integrated digital twin solutions that can support all stakeholders involved in the different phases of the construction or renovation processes, i.e. from concept to end-of-use, including design, construction, commissioning, operation (management and maintenance) and, where relevant, change of use.
  • Demonstrate a seamless integration of the proposed approaches with state-of-the-art digital technologies for construction and renovation (Building Information Modelling, digital twins, etc.).
  • Investigate the use of robotic systems and automation such as additive manufacturing, on-site automated and robotic systems (e.g. robots for building component assembly), drones and autonomous vehicles (e.g. for surveying, inspection and monitoring), and other types of automated support to augment workers’ capability and safety (e.g. lift robots, exoskeletons) for deep renovation.
  • Investigate the application of the proposed approaches at neighbourhood- and district-level, with the aim to maximise synergies in renovation work and processes, decrease costs, and to optimise the use of energy-related shared district resources (e.g. heating and cooling networks, renewable energy sources, energy storage facilities, etc.).
  • Select processes and technologies that have a maximum potential for rapid and broad deployment at European level, with due consideration of the sector’s practices.
  • Ensure effective involvement of the buildings supply chain, in particular SMEs, as well as of building owners/tenants and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Where relevant, investigate whether and how the proposed approaches could apply to cultural heritage buildings.
  • Ensure the proposed approaches allow to reach the highest level of energy performance, also considering other relevant aspects (e.g. life cycle, accessibility), while keeping costs in an attractive range for owners.
  • Seek to ensure from the design phase that the project is developed with a view to integrate its results/deliverables under a digital building logbook.
  • Demonstrate, based on well-defined metrics and key performance indicators, that the innovative approaches proposed lead to fewer mistakes, less waste, higher resource efficiency, higher quality in particular with regard to energy performance (reduced performance gap), increased replicability across sites, and other relevant life cycle aspects, enhanced safety of workers and their ability to work alongside robots, and faster construction.
  • Investigate business models in view of mass deployment and EU-wide impact, seeking to address split of incentives between the owner and tenant of a building as a barrier to investments.
  • Lead at least 3 large-scale demonstration to assess the proposed approaches for a variety of buildings typologies representative of the European building stock, ensuring the most adequate coverage of climatic conditions.

Clustering and cooperation with other relevant projects is strongly encouraged; in particular, liaison and synergies with the Horizon Europe Partnerships on ‘People-centric sustainable built environment’ and ‘Driving Urban Transitions’.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Administration & Governance, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Art & Culture, Cultural Heritage, History, Media
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Public Services, National Government, Education and Training Centres, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Research Institution, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Start Up Company, Other, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 70 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of between EUR 5.00 and 8.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 16.00 million.
Typ of ActionInnovation Actions (IA)
Funding rate70%

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 8 by the end of the project.

Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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