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Air pollution has been in the news a lot recently, with the UK and France announcing future bans on petrol and diesel cars in an attempt to ensure clean air for their citizens. Less widely reported however is the risks associated with indoor air pollution. This is despite the fact indoor air is on average 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air.

One solution could come in the form of eco-building materials that utilise natural substances known to have a positive impact on indoor air quality. Sheep’s wool is a particularly interesting material. Research has previously shown its capacity to absorb certain harmful gases such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds - irritant chemicals from new furniture, air fresheners and household cleaning products). These substances are linked to headaches, eye and skin irritation and respiratory problems.

Sheep’s wool is already sold as a high quality, eco-friendly insulation material by companies like Black Mountain Insulation (BMI), a leading UK based manufacturer of natural insulation products. In order to learn more about the VOC absorption properties of wool, BMI teamed up with researchers at Bangor University’s BioComposites Centre in the framework of the EU funded ECO-SEE project. The partners aimed to find ways to increase the wool’s VOC capture capabilities, with a view to developing a new and novel product prototype. 

100% improvement

The team in Bangor analysed different wool samples, showing that the amount and type of VOCs absorbed by wool were dependent on the sheep breed and the processing of the wool. They then tested a range of possible wool modifications and treatments, including mechanical, chemical, additive and energetic/irradiation methods.

According to Dr Graham Ormondroyd from Bangor University the results were very positive. “We found a lot of potential in chemical modifications and additives. Our research showed that the addition of certain natural polymers can increase the ability of sheep’s wool to absorb VOCs by over 100%.”

Based on the research conducted in Bangor a prototype sheep’s wool insulation was developed using the most promising treatment. Gordon Pirret, Chairman of Black Mountain Insulation, is excited by the potential. “We already knew that sheep’s wool is a high performing insulation material with some fantastic characteristics, but the work carried out in ECO-SEE has now demonstrated the accompanying health benefits. What we have learned will be invaluable in order to communicate this to potential customers, and opens up new avenues for product development.”

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Health and energy efficiency benefits

The prototype product has subsequently been demonstrated at full scale at the ECO-SEE test sites in the UK and Spain. These demonstrations showed the potential benefits of using different eco-materials together – the insulation was incorporated into a novel wall panel system, together with other ECO-SEE innovations (low VOC panels, and hygrothermal coatings). The results were impressive, also in terms of energy efficiency. Compared to the reference walls using standard insulation and finishing materials, the panels achieved:

  • 50% improvement in energy performance
  • 20% reduction in embodied energy
  • 20% improvement in material performance. 

 

As we spend up to 90% of our time indoors, solutions to improve indoor air quality are being sought with increasing urgency. ECO-SEE has shown that eco-materials such as enhanced sheep’s wool insulation can be an environmentally sensitive solution to the problem. Find out more about the ECO-SEE eco-materials at: www.eco-see.eu

You can find out more about BMI’s natural insulation products at: www.blackmountaininsulation.com

Read more about Bangor University’s research into sheep’s wool here

 

 

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If you have visited the new Apple store in Brussels then you would have seen first-hand the striking façades coated with white clay. Natural lime and clay based plasters are an increasingly popular choice among architects and homeowners due to their aesthetic appeal and sustainable credentials - clay plaster requires just 10% of the energy input of gypsum plaster and has 10 times lower embodied CO2.

On top of this, these materials are also known to improve the indoor climate of a building by helping to maintain a steady temperature and humidity level – important factors for occupant comfort. However, a lack of understanding and evidence has limited recognition of these effects within the construction industry.

In order to address this, producers BCB and Claytec teamed up with researchers from the University of Bath within the ECO-SEE project. By studying the characteristics of the plasters, together they were able to develop new mixtures, optimised to improve the indoor environment.

“As a result of the ECO-SEE collaboration we have more evidence to prove the benefits of lime plasters,” said Ronelvy Nivesse, R&D Manager at BCB, “this is important to help raise awareness in the construction sector and grow the market for eco-materials in Europe.”

Novel mixtures

The researchers found that, by adding plant based aggregates such as straw and hemp, the thermal conductivity and moisture buffering potential of the plasters could be greatly increased. The introduction of these additives increases the capacity of the plasters to adsorb and desorb water vapour. It also reduces the density, which improves thermal insulation properties.

The results obtained by the clay and straw mix were particularly impressive. “We achieved a 70% improvement in thermal resistance with constant moisture buffering properties. This shows the ability to develop tailor-made clay solutions with bio-based compositions,” explained Manfred Lemke, Project Manager at Claytec, “unusually, the mix was also made without sand – an increasingly scarce resource.”

Though the lime based plaster also achieved promising technical results, further testing is needed to find an optimal mix with acceptable mechanical properties.

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Health and energy efficiency benefits

The results confirm the potential for these plasters to operate like a natural air conditioner, passively (ie with no added energy) regulating the indoor environment by improving themal comfort and air quality. This can help to cut the energy needs of buildings by reducing the need for air conditioning.

More importantly it has a positive impact on occupant comfort and health. Keeping relative humidity in a safe range (between 40-60%) significantly reduces the risk of some health issues, especially respiratory problems.

Growing market

Already top architects have recognised the potential of the materials. The Apple store in Brussels is the work of world renowned office Foster + Partners, while Peter Zumthor also famously made use of coloured clay plaster for 6,000m² of internal walls in the new Kolumba Museum in Cologne.

Given that Europeans spend 90% of their time indoors, solutions to make our buildings healthier and more comfortable places to be should be considered for mainstream use.

By James Ling, Greenovate! Europe

 

To find out more about the research conducted by the University of Bath, read the papers 'The impact of bio-aggregate addition on the hygrothermal properties of lime plasters' and 'Improving hygrothermal properties of clay'.

Learn more about the coating products currently available by visiting the sites of BCB and Claytec

 

 

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With energy efficiency in buildings high up on the European political agenda, Brussels is certainly the place where awareness about the importance of energy performant buildings is prominent. But less people might be aware of how much indoor air quality needs to be improved. Indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoors, because of mould and bacteria resulting from excessive levels of humidity, and pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by furniture, cleaning products and textiles.

Eco-materials for buildings, an untapped solution

Building with natural eco-materials such as clay, sheep’s wool, hemp and timber can provide a solution. Their potential to improve the quality of the air in our buildings, while also enhancing energy performance, is as high as it is untapped. In addition, they have a clear added-value as ‘passive’ techniques, which do not need any additional energy to improve the indoor environment, thus eliminating the complexity and maintenance cost of alternative ventilation systems.

Although ancient buildings with clay or lime can be visited all over the world, in today’s construction industry, eco-materials are relatively niche and have to compete with mass-produced concrete, steel and plastics.

In recognition of this problem the European Commission has supported a series of research projects developing eco-materials for improved indoor environmental quality.

ECO-SEE improved eco-materials

The EU-funded ECO-SEE project has developed hygrothermal coatings that regulate relative humidity levels and temperature, modified bio-based insulation materials to capture VOCs, and developed photocatalytic coatings to remove indoor pollutants using visible light sources. Moreover, as these materials are natural, the embodied energy to produce them is very low and at end-of-life they can safely be disposed of or - more often - recycled.

The results of the project have been shown in a final workshop in Brussels on 29th June 2017 to a wide range of experts. The partners developed a ‘multifunctional’ wall panel, which integrates several of the eco-materials enhanced during the project, to show the potential of these materials when combined together. The panel was on show during the event, having recently completed long term testing at demonstration sites in the UK and Spain.

Concrete results from ECO-SEE

The eco-materials developed by ECO-SEE have shown remarkable figures:

  • 60% improvement in thermal resistance and 80% improvement in moisture buffering performance of clay plasters;
  • 180-720% improvement in VOC capture potential of sheep’s wool insulation; 
  • Up to 50% improvement in energy performance of ECO-SEE wall compared to reference panel using standard insulation and finishing materials.

Most of these materials will eventually make it to the market, as project partners are already discussing commercialisation.

ECO-SEE materials are therefore passive solutions that have low embodied energy, can be recycled, reduce indoor pollutants and noise, while improving the energy performance of buildings. As we spend on average 90% of our time indoor, these are options that should not be overlooked!

Read more about the final project workshop "90% Indoor: solutions for healthy and energy efficient buildings" 

 

Buildings account for around half of the EU’s total energy consumption. As a result, energy efficiency of buildings is a major theme in the European Commission’s Clean Energy for All Europeans package of proposals and a focus of this year’s European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), which takes place from 21-25 June.

But buildings must be more than just energy efficient of course. As we spend up to 90% of our time indoors, buildings and the environment they create also have a significant impact on our comfort, well-being and even health.

During the EUSEW, the ECO-SEE project will raise awareness about the links between energy efficiency and health, as well as how innovative eco-materials can provide a solution on both fronts. The project is featured within the ‘Visualising Energy’ campaign at EUSEW, which aims to highlight the human dimension of the energy transition through a public photo exhibition in Brussels and a campaign magazine (the article is available online here, p30-33).

Natural materials = healthy and energy efficient buildings

Over the last four years the EU funded research project has studied the use of innovative eco-building materials that have a positive impact on indoor environmental quality, while also radically improving the energy efficiency of buildings. The results show that natural materials, like sheep’s wool, clay and timber, can provide ideal solutions for these twin challenges and partners have developed a range of breakthrough eco-building solutions, including new and improved insulation, coating and panel products. These innovative solutions act like natural air conditioning, absorbing and removing harmful gases, as well as regulating humidity. Testing has also proven the energy efficiency of the new solutions, both in terms of embodied energy and energy performance.

90% indoors conference

To discuss the issues in more depth, ECO-SEE consortium partner Greenovate! Europe is organising a policy event on 29 June in Brussels. The ‘90% indoors: Solutions for healthy and energy efficient buildings’ conference will be an opportunity for policy makers, industries, building designers and academia to learn about the advantages of innovative eco-materials, and discuss how best to bring these innovations to the market. The conference is free of charge but registration is required via this link

 

Buildings account for the around half of the EU’s total energy consumption. So energy efficiency gains in the construction sector are seen as central to the energy transition in the EU.

Ongoing activities in the energy transition are promoted during the ‘Visualising Energy’ campaign, an annual exhibition which takes place during the EU Sustainable Energy Week (19-25 June) in Brussels. This year ECO-SEE will be taking part.

Initial results have already shown that ECO-SEE has developed some extremely low energy building solutions. Performance data has shown a 50% improvement in energy performance and a 20% reduction in embodied energy compared to reference materials.

During the campaign the ECO-SEE solutions will be featured in a photo exhibition which highlights the human dimension of the energy transition by showing workers on different renewable energy and energy efficiency projects around Europe and beyond.

Also look out for ECO-SEE in the next edition of the international Revolve magazine, which accompanies the campaign. All these activities will help raise awareness in the weeks before the final ECO-SEE policy event, which is taking place on the 29 June in Brussels. It is already possible to register for the event via this link.

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On 29 June 2017, ECO-SEE will host a final event in Brussels entitled “90% indoors: Solutions for healthy and energy efficient buildings”.

We spend up to 90% of our lives indoors. Yet the air quality inside buildings has been shown to be 2 to 5 times poorer than outdoors. This can also true for modern energy efficient buildings due to increased insulation levels and greater air tightness.

This conference will be an opportunity for policy makers, industries, building designers and academia to learn how innovative eco-materials such as those developed in ECO-SEE can help address both indoor air quality and energy efficiency in buildings, and discuss how best to bring those innovations to the market. 

The full programme can be downloaded here

Participation is free of charge, however registration is required via this link. As places are limited, please make sure to register for the event no later than 31 May 2017.

A range of breakthrough eco-building solutions which tackle the emerging problem of indoor air quality have been presented by the ECO-SEE project at the Ecobuild construction fair in London.

The solutions include novel insulation, coating and panel products which improve air quality by passively regulating humidity, capturing VOCs, and removing indoor organic pollutants through photocatalysis. External and internal wall panels have also been developed, in addition to design tools to support end users.

50% improvement in energy performance
The natural solutions, made predominantly from local, renewable materials, also boost all-round indoor environmental quality by buffering noise and enhancing energy efficiency.

"Based on performance data collected during the project, the ECO-SEE solutions can offer a 50% improvement in energy performance and a 20% reduction in embodied energy compared to reference materials", predicts coordinator Pete Walker, from the University of Bath. Test data has also shown that the products have a 20% better material performance than existing solutions.

The Ecobuild fair gave project partners the chance to present the solutions to industry. As well as insulation products (from hemp, sheep's wool and recycled paper) with enhanced VOC capture, and improved lime and clay coatings, low VOC and photocatalytic panel products were also on show.

New project booklet and video
During the fair a project video was also premiered, as well as a new ECO-SEE booklet. They explain the entire process of the project, which has seen world class researchers join forces with industrial players to advance the state of the art in eco-materials for construction.

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A 40 page booklet has been produced to present the outcomes of the ECO-SEE project in more detail. It is available to download here. 

The booklet gives an insight into much of the research that has been conducted during the project, and presents the eco-building solutions developed. 

The publication was produced by Greenovate! Europe, with contributions from consortium partners. 

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The penultimate progress meeting of the ECO-SEE project has taken place on 8 February at Acciona's headquarters in Madrid, Spain. Partners came together to discuss how work is progressing and plan activites for the final six months of the project.

Before the meeting, partners made the most of the opportunity to visit one of the ECO-SEE demonstrations, located at Acciona's test site.

Having been kept up to date with progress from afar, project partners could finally make a close up inspection of the two 30mcells, which will validate the design and performance of the ECO-SEE wall panels. 

It was especially interesting for attendees from the University of Bath, who have built identical cells at their own HIVE test facility in the UK. 

The cells are currently being monitored to evaluate indoor air quality as well as acoustic, microbial and thermal performance in real weather conditions. 

It's fair to assume there will have been a spike in the acoustic readings as partners had plenty of questions for the hosts, Maria and Patricio from Acciona. 

 

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The ECO-SEE eco-materials have been on display at the recent BAU trade fair, which brought together over 250,000 visitors from the construction industry in Munich, Germany.

Within the ‘Fraunhofer CityLaboratory’ stand, attendees were able to get to know the ECO-SEE materials. The ECO-SEE panel products were exhibited, incorporating novel materials developed during the project such as modified sheep's wool insulation, photocatalytic timber and lime panels and modified clay plasters.

Aside from the exhibition, those looking to learn more about the ECO-SEE project were able to enjoy talks from Wolfgang Hofbauer (Fraunhofer IBP), who spoke about microbiological performance and Pete Walker (University of Bath), who gave an overview of the ECO-SEE project. 

BAU is the Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials and Systems, and is held every two years. It is where future-oriented manufacturers come together with an audience of interested professionals. Read the final report from the fair here.

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The ECO-SEE eco-building materials will be on show at the upcoming BAU Trade Fair, taking place in Munich from 16-21 January.

ECO-SEE will be included in the ‘Fraunhofer CityLaboratory’ stand, where the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance presents innovative products and solutions from building research, located in Hall C2, Booth 538.

In addition to the stand there will also be presentations on the project during the fair: on Tuesday from Wolfgang Hofbauer (Fraunhofer IBP) on microbiological performance and on Saturday from Pete Walker (University of Bath), who will give an overview of the ECO-SEE project.

Intelligent facades

The Fraunhofer CityLaboratory booth showcases the professional competence of 14 Fraunhofer institutes to provide interdisciplinary solutions for the building industry. This year the show focuses on: digital planning, building and operating; intelligent facades; safety and comfort and; resource efficiency and energy management.

ECO-SEE is to be featured in the ‘intelligent facades’ area, where two ECO-SEE wall panels will be on display (one external, one internal, full size wall panels, dimensions 1.2 x 2.4 x 0.4/0.2 m³). An ECO-SEE poster and leaflets will also be available, with project partners on hand to explain the project and its products to visitors.

BAU is the Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials and Systems, and is held every two years. It is where future-oriented manufacturers come together with an audience of interested professionals. Their primary interests include the latest techniques, materials and applications that can be put to use in actual practice. Follow the links for more information about this year's programme and registration

 

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©Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance

 

 

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More than 50 professionals from the construction sector were given an introduction to the ECO-SEE eco-building materials during the project's second training workshop, hosted by Acciona in Madrid.

The ECO-SEE project was explained to attendees by Maria Casado from Acciona, during a presentation entitled, 'New eco-materials and components for healthier and more energy efficient buildings'. The presentation was based on the ECO-SEE training materials which have been developed by BRE.

Samples and prototypes from ECO-SEE partners were also on show, giving participants the chance to see and feel the eco-materials under development. Samples of insulation, coatings and panels were available, as well as prototypes of the photocatalytic lime mortar and ECO-SEE exterior wall panel.

The workshop also included a tour of the ECO-SEE test cells, located in the Acciona demopark. Here, the construction methods, panels and the monitoring and hardware system installed in the test cells were explained to attendees.

The slides from the ECO-SEE presentation are available here. 

 

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The European Commission has released a new package of measures designed to keep the European Union’s clean energy transition on track, including a binding 30% improvement in energy efficiency.

The Commission proposed changes to speed up energy-efficient renovation in the EU from the current, annual rate of around 1%. The proposal requires member states to produce a strategy on how to decarbonise their housing stock by 2050, with interim goals by 2030, calls for introduction of a smartness indicator rating the readiness of a building to adapt to the needs of the occupant and the grid and to improve its performance, and building automation and energy monitoring systems as an alternative to inspections.

Relevant measures are also tabled in the Communication on accelerating clean energy in buildings that addresses the issue of skills in the construction sector, and emphasizes the importance of smart financing for smart buildings.

The renewed focus on energy efficiency in buildings strengthens the case for the wide uptake of ECO-SEE’s eco-building materials. As new low-carbon buildings are constructed to be extremely well insulated, the issue of indoor air quality is likely to intensify. Not to mention the excellent thermal insulation and overall energy performance that the ECO-SEE materials can themselves offer.  

Read all about the EU proposals here.

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ECO-SEE’s eco-building solutions were showcased as examples of cutting-edge innovation during the 7th European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP) conference, attended by over 100 people in Brussels last week.

ECO-SEE had its own exhibition stand, manned by the University of Bath and Greenovate! Europe, enabling face-to-face interaction with conference attendees from across the construction industry. The conference was an ideal opportunity explain the advantages and future potential of ECO-SEE’s materials and discuss the possibilities for commercialisation or further development.

The project was one of twelve selected for the ‘Innovation Cases Exhibition’, which gave a stage to real examples of how Europe’s construction industry innovates in various fields.

The ECTP conference is an important international event dedicated to present and discuss current and anticipated innovation in the built environment field. This year’s discussions showed that ECO-SEE is on trend with the most pressing Research and Innovation priorities, with energy efficiency, bio-based products and BIM featuring high on the agenda. 

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Employers, building owners, designers and developers throughout the world are showing that it pays to invest in greener offices that keep their occupants healthy and happy, a new report from the World Green Building Council has shown.

The report provides best practice examples of healthy, green offices, showing that employers who care about the environmental impact of their buildings as well as the health and wellbeing of their staff, are rewarded by improved productivity and loyalty, which can be worth many times more than their investment.

In the UK, ECO-SEE partner Skanska cut sick days by two thirds at its office in Doncaster by making improvements to layout and noise, indoor air quality, and lighting. It helped the company save £28,000 in staff costs in 2015.

Heerema Marine Contractors expect to gain €42 million over 20 years in productivity, staff retention and reduced absenteeism, at its new office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, by improving air quality, increasing thermal comfort and maximising daylight.

The report identifies eight key factors in creating healthier and greener offices, many of which are addressed in the ECO-SEE project:

  • Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation – a well-ventilated office can double cognitive ability;
  • Thermal Comfort – staff performance can fall 6% if offices are too hot and 4% if they too cold;
  • Noise and Acoustics – noise distractions led to 66% drop in performance and concentration.

 

Read the full report ‘Building the Business Case: Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Green Offices’ here.

With COP22 getting underway in Marrakech this week a new study by the Climate Action Tracker has once again highlighted the importance of buildings to preventing climate change.

The study indicated that all new buildings will need to achieve ‘zero-energy’ status by 2020 to reach the climate goals established in the Paris Agreement. Additionally, the renovation rate of older structures will need to be drastically accelerated from its currently sluggish pace.

The building sector accounts for around 20% of climate-changing emissions, and its energy demand is likely to double by mid-century without action.

In order to limit global warming below 1.5 degrees, the report demonstrates that buildings will need to reduce emissions by between 75 and 90% by 2050. The report recommends that EU/OECD members aim to ensure that all new buildings are zero-energy by 2020, with EU/non-OECD members achieving the same by 2025.

In the EU, renovation rates currently languish at around 1% per year. This will need to be boosted to 5% per year for EU/OECD members and 3% for EU/non-OECD members.

New construction technologies with improved energy efficiency properties, such as those developed by ECO-SEE, will be essential to help to achieve these ambitious but essential targets.

For more information, see the full report, ‘Constructing the Future: Will the Building Sector Use its Decarbonisation Tools?’

The ECO-SEE project will be promoted at the European Construction, built environment and energy efficient building Technology Platform (ECTP) conference in Brussels, on the 17-18 November 2016.

Coordinator Prof. Pete Walker (University of Bath) and Greenovate! Europe will man an ECO-SEE booth, where samples of ECO-SEE’s innovative eco-materials will be on show as well as communication material promoting the project, including a new exhibition stand.

The ECTP conference is an important international event dedicated to present and discuss current and anticipated innovation in the built environment field, focusing on the ECTP’s five priority areas: active aging and design; energy and efficient buildings (e2b); heritage and regeneration; infrastructure and mobility; materials and sustainability.

As well as a plenary with high-level speakers from academia, industry and the European Commission, a hall for booths and posters will showcase real examples of innovation in the built environment, such as the materials developed by ECO-SEE.

Click here for a more detailed programme and registration.

 

The Renovate Europe Campaign has used its annual conference to highlight the many benefits of implementing an ambitious building renovation programme in Europe, showcasing some of the latest tools and initiatives which could help drive the renovation market.

The campaign argues that building renovation is a win-win for the EU, helping to achieve climate targets by reducing energy consumption while also contributing to jobs and growth, human health, and energy security. However, more needs to be done to increase demand for building renovation.

Strong political commitment is seen as the most effective way to really boost the sector. With a revised version of the Energy Efficiency Package expected from the Commission in December, the Renovate Europe Campaign is calling on the European Union to increase its ambition, and target a Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) stock by 2050.

Local initiatives can also drive renovation from the bottom up. A barrier for many consumers is general awareness and knowledge of renovation possibilities. Tony Rose, from RetrofitWorks in the UK, explained how advisory services like theirs can make a difference by better informing consumers of the options for renovating their home.

Financing is also often a stumbling block for renovation projects, which may have a medium to long term return on investment. RenoWATT, Picardie Renovation Pass and Rudan showcased a number of different financing solutions which can incentivise consumers or public authorities to instigate renovation projects with minimal risk or upfront cost.

Innovative technologies such as those developed by ECO-SEE, which address multiple issues like thermal efficiency and health, are also needed to increase the effectiveness of renovation. The development of these new and improved materials will only strengthen the case for a more ambitious renovation programme in Europe.

 

Dr. Andy Dengel from BRE, partner of the ECO-SEE project, gave a presentation at the ECOBUILD exhibition in London as part of the “Air Quality Challenge”, stressing the negative side effects of poor indoor air quality on human health and well-being.

Along with good ventilation, comfortable indoor temperature is an essential condition for healthy homes. But according to the last Healthy Homes Barometer, published on 20 April 2016, 82% of Europeans live in homes that were too cold at some point during the last winter. On top of this, bad indoor air quality doubles the risk of respiratory illness and affects our productivity at work. To tackle both of these issues, ECO-SEE partners are designing new eco-materials that will address poor indoor air quality by taking out some of the pollutants while also radically improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

As highlighted by the Healthy Homes Barometer, home well-being and energy savings are the main drivers of building renovation. In that sense, the solutions developed within the ECO-SEE project appear to be in line with the expectations of European citizens and could pave the way towards a healthy European building stock.

For more information, you can read the Healthy Homes Barometer report for 2016 here and watch the presentation of Dr. Andy Dengel here.

Read more: Healthier homes for healthier citizens

The University of Bath, partner of the ECO-SEE project, will host a two-day research workshop entitled “Sustainable Energy Efficient Healthy Buildings” on 7 and 8 June 2016.

 

The aim of this ERA-Can Twinning Programme workshop is to establish basis for a longer-term collaboration in the areas of innovative sustainable construction materials and building health research between partners in the EU and Canada through agenda setting, awareness raising and networking activities.

 

At the occasion of this workshop, Pete Walker, from the University of Bath, will present the innovative solutions developed by the ECO-SEE project towards healthier and more energy efficient buildings.

 

Read more: ECO-SEE to be presented at ERA-Can joint research workshop

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ECO-SEE project partners presented a stand at the annual Ecobuild 2016 event at Excel, in London between 8th and    10th March 2016.

The stand, part of an AMANAC Cluster event, displayed samples of the innovative eco-materials and mock ups of prototype wall panels under development. Examples presented included photocatalytic wood panels, clay and lime coatings and bio-based insulation materials.

Ecobuild provided an ideal opportunity for stakeholder engagement with representatives from across the construction industry present. In that framework, ECO-SEE connected with over 250 attendees from 18 different countries, with queries focusing on the indoor air quality benefits of the developed technology and readiness for market uptake.

Ecobuild is one the the leading UK exhibitions and conferences for the construction sector market, with many thousand visitors attending the event over three days.

 

Read more: ECOBUILD 2016 - More than 250 visitors at ECO-SEE stand!

The ECO-SEE Indoor Air Quality Workshop was held successfully in Munich on the 18 February at the premises of Fraunhofer. The event brought together 41 stakeholders from the research and industry sectors to discuss the achievements of ECO-SEE, but also of the BRIMEE, HHOUSE and OSIRYS projects, which are all part of the Indoor environment cluster within the AMANAC initiative (http://amanac.eu/).

The event addressed upscaling, prototyping and LCA issues, and presented the various eco-innovative materials explored or developed by the projects.

Participants were particularly interested in the impact of those materials on human health and on their scalability potential, and showed great interest in receiving more details from the projects in the future.

This event was the third of a series of regional stakeholder workshops organised by ECO-SEE. The next and last workshop will take place early 2017, and will be announced on this website in the second half of 2016.

The final agenda of the event is available here.

Click on the links below to download the presentations:

  1. Initial aims and objectives of the EEB FP7 programme and overview of ECO-SEE project
  2. Prototyping, upscaling and real scale application of ECOSEE panels
  3. Sustainability aspects of ECO-SEE products
  4. Indoor Environment Quality beyond the AMANAC group
  5. HHOUSE multifunctional components for the building envelope
  6. HHOUSE living comfort at an affordable price
  7. BRIMEE project approach and results
  8. IEA Project on Indoor Atmospheric Conditions in Energy Efficient Residential Buildings
  9. New eco-innovative materials for facades and interior partitions-OSIRYS project
  10. New eco-adhesive for composite materials in innovation facades solutions – OSIRYS project

 

Should you have any question about this event, please do not hesitate to contact us!

 

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ECO-SEE Indoor Air Quality workshop, 18/02/2016 Munich
 
 
 

Dr. Simon Curling, researcher at the Bangor University and partner in the ECO-SEE project, was invited to speak about indoor air quality by the BBC on 23 February. Dr. Curling exposed the risks that arise from a lack of ventilation in buildings, caused by the substantial build-up of chemicals released by some materials. To counter the potential dangers of bad indoor air quality to individuals’ health, Dr. Curling insists on the need for ventilation systems that are adapted to the buildings they are used in.

In order to improve the indoor air quality of buildings, the ECO-SEE project studies the use of innovative eco-building materials that will address poor air quality, while also radically improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

You can hear the full interview here at 45’.

Read more: Bangor University discusses indoor air quality on BBC Wales

The 4th Project meeting took place on the 08-09 September in Bangor, UK. Hosted by Bangor University, the meeting marked the 24th month of the 4 year project. 

All partners joined to review progress of the work to date, and to plan the upcoming activities. Overall, the technical work is proceeding as planned and ECO-SEE is now approaching the phase where all innovations developped by the partners are integrated into high performance wall panels. Bringing together these innovations will be the main challenge of the 2 remaining years, and is crucial to the successfull exploitation of the project results.

 

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The second ECO-SEE stakeholder workshop took place earlier this week (10 March 2015) in Turin, on the premises of Environment Park. Organised in collaboration with the HIPIN project (www.hipin-project.eu), it brought together more than 30 representatives from companies and research organisations interested in learning more about the energy efficient building materials developed in the two projects.

More than an information session on the innovations being developed in the two projects, the workshop was an opportunity for ECO-SEE and HIPIN experts to test their concepts with potential end-users, but also to exchange experiences between the two projects.


Designed as an interactive event, the participants were invited to visit some of Environment Park's facilities where innovative coatings and façade insulations are being tested as part of the HIPIN project, and to engage in one to one discussions with experts from both projects.


Overall, it was clear that the expected results of ECO-SEE raised a lot of interest among stakeholders given the direct applicability and benefits of healthier and more energy efficient wall panels. Most participants asked to receive more information about the project.

 

WP 20150310 007   WP 20150310 015

 

EEAB2 meeting 2The second meeting of the ECO-SEE External Advisory Board with the ECO-SEE consortium took place on the 26 February in Brussels. As the project passed its 18th month of activity, the meeting was an opportunity to give the external experts a sense of what the project has achieved so far and where it is heading.

 

The three experts (from Germany's Federal Environment Agency, Cranfield University's Institute of Environment and Health, and from Public Health England) showed great interest in the ambitions of the project, and were particularly interested in the expected benefits of the project's innovations on the indoor air quality, and especially on the methodology used for measuring the impact of various building materials on volatile pollutants. 
Following a very constructive dialog with the ECO-SEE work package leaders, their input was integrated directly into the ECO-SEE work plan to ensure the project delivers high impact innovations. 

 

EEAB2 meeting

On 23 February 2015, the ECO-SEE exploitation lead partners came together to shape potential exploitation routes for a range of innovative eco-building materials addressing both indoor air quality as well as radical improvements in energy efficiency. ECO-SEE should deliver products with at least 15 % lower embodied energy, 20% longer expected lifespan and 20% lower build costs than traditional construction materials.

Greenovate! Europe exploitation experts Bob Crawford and John Henderson from C-Tech Innovation kick-started the discussion with a thorough presentation of the market trends and value functions for the new eco-building materials. The exploitation team worked on brainstorming 7 business models for each of the expected project results in the areas of insulated wall panels, coatings and insulation material.  Based on the rich input received during the workshop, the exploitation experts will produce draft business plans. The next and last Exploitation Workshop is planned to take place in June 2016.

 

 

The BioComposites Centre will host the next International Panel Products Symposium on 7th & 8th October 2015 at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, North Wales, UK. 

IPPS is the leading technical conference on wood based panels, including all aspects of panel production technology, feedstocks, resins and additives, market analysis and the use of wood based panels in furniture and construction applications.

 

For more information about the conference, please visit the IPPS 2015 webpage: http://www.bc.bangor.ac.uk/ipps/ 

Washington DC, 15-18 June 2014

Mr Jose Cubillo from Acciona gave an oral presentation about "Advanced Materials for Energy Efficient Buildings Construction. From research to market" in the Cleantech 2014 Conference which took place on 15-18 June in Washington DC. During the presentation, he discussed the main objectives of the ECO-SEE project and the targets it has set.

Read more: ECO-SEE at Cleantech 2014

Brussels, 26th of June 2014

The ECO-SEE consortium is conducting a survey and we are seeking your opinion on the use of eco-materials and request that you can spare 10 minutes to fill out the online survey. 

Read more: ECO-SEE Stakeholder Survey

London, 6th of May 2014

The ECO-SEE project held its first planned External Expert Advisory Board meeting in London on the 6th of May 2014.

Read more: ECO-SEE External Expert Advisory Board meeting

Brussels, 22 April 2014

The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) has published an article on indoor air quality and the use of bio-based materials for healthier indoor environments in relation to ECO-SEE.

Read more: ECO-SEE in Cooling India magazine

Brussels, 18 April 2014

The ECO-SEE consortium members have started their communication and dissemination activities actively promoting the project in relevant conferences and events all over Europe. 

Read more: ECO-SEE dissemination activities

Brussels, 15 April 2014

Members of the ECO-SEE project, including coordinator Prof. Pete Walker, participated in the cluster Workshop on Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials for Energy Efficiency in Buildings held in Athens on 8th April 2014. 

Read more: Cluster Workshop of EeB NMP projects

The ECO-SEE project has kicked off in the beginning of September 2013 in Bath, UK, and has ambitious goals.

The project will study the use of innovative eco- building materials that will combat poor indoor environmental quality, while also radically improving the energy efficiency of buildings. The objective of the project is to deliver products with at least 15 per cent lower embodied energy than traditional construction materials, with at least 20 per cent longer expected lifespan, and for at least 20 per cent lower build costs. By making better products at a lower price the research group can create a cost effective solution with the potential for real market impact.

Leading the project, Professor Pete Walker from the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, in the University of Bath said: “Poor indoor environmental quality in buildings can lead to poor occupant well-being, including loss of productivity and concentration, and in some cases contribute to the development of asthma.

“The European Union aims to ensure that all new buildings will be zero carbon. However, we need to find ways of achieving this without negatively impacting on occupant well-being.”

Click here to download the full press release from the University of Bath.