This demonstration project is part of the HOUSEFUL project (funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme), which targets the uptake of circular buildings in the housing sector.
HOUSEFUL will pursue its objectives by designing innovative interventions for efficient management of materials, waste, water and energy along the entire housing value chain. This will be done by demonstrating the feasibility of an integrated systemic service composed of 11 circular solutions, which will be demonstrated in four different buildings including this empty building in Sabadell (Spain). The Bloc dels Mestres used to house the teachers working at the neighboring primary school.
The so-called teachers’ block (“El bloc dels Mestres”) is a residential building built in the early sixties.
The building consists of eight residential floors with two flats per floor and is located in Sabadell (Spain, approximately 20 km North of Barcelona). It is adjacent to an educational centre (the current Joan Sallarès i Pla school) and was initially intended as a teachers’ residence. The building has become increasingly disused over recent years and all 16 flats need deep refurbishment.
The refurbishment project foresees the following actions: building envelope refurbishment with insulated façade; solar thermal systems; maintenance of current size and distribution; use as rented social housing for large families at risk of social exclusion.
HOUSEFUL will provide an advance in this building circularity by offering solutions for its calculation (S1), offering new methodologies for stakeholder engagement (S2) and co-creation of innovative solutions on materials (S3, S4), water (S5 in a minimum of 8 homes), waste (S7, S8, S9) and energy resources (S10, S11).
The following circular solutions will be developed and demonstrated at building scale in each demo building.
HOUSEFUL offers stakeholders of the housing sector an innovative holistic model as an integrated services, replicable to other residential buildings.
In accordance to the recent European policy initiatives promoting the construction and refurbishment of buildings in a resource efficient way, HOUSEFUL will implement a circular approach in the use and disposal of construction materials.
The housing sector accounts annually for 33% of water consumption. With the aid of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) water can be recycled and reused in domestic environments.
“Construction and demolition” is one of the five priority areas to be tackled in the context of the European circular economy. Its principles allow for the implementation and incorporation of waste management into economically viable and sustainable solutions that convert retrofit investments from a liability into an asset.
At European level, the housing sector is responsible for the consumption of about 40% of available energy, especially due to the low renovation rate of existing buildings. As a consequensce, much of the EU building stock is in need of renovation, with more than 40% of it built before 1960 and 90% before 1990.
The 11 HOUSEFUL solutions will be made available as SaaS – Software as a Service.
HOUSEFUL’s main objectives are:
HOUSEFUL’s interventions are expected to have the following impacts:
The project is still underway.
One concrete example was presented at 7th International Conference on Sustainable Solid Waste Management by Dolores Hidalgo, Director of the Circular Economy Area at the CARTIF technology center and member of the HOUSEFUL consortium. She gave a presentation on biogas upgrading using micro-porous hollow fiber membrane contactors.
The conference focused on the promotion of practices and technologies for a better and more sustainable management of modern solid waste. Concepts such as separation at source, waste-to-energy technologies, biowaste utilization, recycling promotion and many more were at the core of the event.
Special emphasis was placed on circular economy in all key action areas and all priority sectors, including here some aspects related to the HOUSEFUL project, such as food waste, biomass products and construction & demolition waste management.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and Innovation programme under grant agreement N°776708
Housing Europe coordinates the Collaborative Community of Housing Experts (CCHE) that provides feedback to the project is ongoing. The CCHE will also be involved in the selection of Follower Buildings that will replicate the HOUSEFUL solutions. The Housing Evolutions Hub provides a special forum for the CCHE, experts and professionals to exchange on Circular Solutions in the residential sector. (registration is needed)
The project leaflet: http://houseful.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/HSF-Leaflet-WEB.pdfhttp://houseful.eu