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Climate-smart use of wood in the construction sector to support the New European Bauhaus
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 5: Land, ocean and water for climate action
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
This topic will support the New European Bauhaus initiative and the implementation of the new EU forest strategy by making the construction sector more renewable and circular especially for existing buildings, which includes the use of currently underused timber such as hardwoods, salvage wood and post-consumer wood for traditional and newly emerging innovative woody biomass-based applications, while including circularity as part of a broader system and design loop.
Wood materials remain considerably under-utilised in the construction sector despite their durability and appreciation by end users. At the same time, there is a need for making the construction sector more renewable and circular, which includes the use of currently underused timber such as hardwoods, damage wood and post-consumer wood, while including circularity as part of a broader system and design loop. This requires new raw material sources and secondary material, technologies, and designs for wood components, specified products and for wooden buildings. Buildings need also to be adapted to climate change, including as regards summer and winter thermic performance.
- Analyse the potential market and new technologies (such as the use of AI, IoT sensors or robotics) as well as processes for the utilisation of hardwoods, low quality, damage, and post-consumer wood in the construction sector, including for the refurbishment of buildings.
- Explore the potential of zero-waste concepts by developing solutions for each source type to turn into viable products as elements and as whole buildings in the wood construction sector.
- Design wood building blueprints based on these products and other underutilised bio-based materials, taking into account the reuse, adaptability and healthy living environment (e.g. avoidance of hazardous substances) into the design.
- Study and integrate human health and wellbeing aspects, as well as the cultural traditions of local crafts and design languages, as integral elements of the built space.
- Analyse and propose systems to overcome technical, logistical, legal, business, political, economic, knowledge and social barriers, challenges and opportunities and derive integrated policy recommendations and business strategies for enlarging the wood construction sector in Europe.
- Include the reuse, recycling, renovation and deconstructivity into product and building design concepts.
- Develop robust, transparent and cost-effective methodologies to quantify the carbon removal benefits of key wood construction products and other building materials.
- Develop roadmaps to mainstreaming multi-story wood buildings in Europe, which are the main market segment in living and commercial/office spaces in cities.
- Engage with relevant stakeholder in co-creation processes (e.g., the New European Bauhaus Community of Partners, policy, architects, business, insurance, investment, society, public and private sector).
- Link with other selected proposals and the NEB Lab and establish an open-access wood construction observatory in Europe, to monitor and update progress, statistics, good practice guidelines and solutions on wood construction.
- Address policy frameworks and standards that are still hindering innovation and further market development, as well international production norms and standards for assessing the ecological effects, climate adaptation and climate footprint of buildings which do not account for all benefits of wood.
The project must implement the multi-actor approach and ensure an adequate involvement of the primary production sector and the wider forest-based value chain
This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and capitalise on previous research results (e.g., BASAJAUN, Build-in-Wood, etc.), as well as the results of the LIFE Strategic Projects from the LIFE Circular Economy and LIFE Quality and Climate Action Sub-programmes.
Proposals are encouraged to/should consider social innovation when the solutions is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake.
Proposals may involve financial support to third parties e.g. to primary producers, academic researchers, start-ups, SMEs, and other multidisciplinary actors, to, for instance, develop, test or validate developed applications. Consortia need to define the selection process of organisations, for which financial support may be granted. Maximum 20% of the EU funding can be allocated to this purpose.
In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.
Projects results are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:
- Enhanced contribution of the forest-based sector with respect to climate change mitigation and adaptation, a toxic-free environment and rural development objectives.
- Pathways for an efficient conversion of solid biomass into forms of long-term carbon storage.
- Enhanced contribution of the forest-based sector to decarbonisation strategies for buildings, both in terms of operational emissions, embodied emissions, and carbon removals, in relation to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the renovation wave strategy, the Construction Products Regulation and other EU policies on buildings.
- Contribute to a robust and transparent methodology to quantify the climate benefits of wood construction products and other building materials, reflecting the most advanced dynamic life-cycle analyses and in view of contributing to the carbon farming initiative and carbon removal certification.
- Increased resource efficiency and minimisation of environmental footprint of wood products used in construction works.
- Better knowledge about the quantitative limits of global wood supply and the limits of wood as a resource.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- 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.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
Beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. The maximum amount to be granted to each third party is EUR 60 000.
The proposals must use the multi-actor approach. See definition of the multi-actor approach in the introduction to the work programme.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
Eligible costs will take the form of a lump sum.
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 50 pages.