Researchers win Horizon 2020 grant for Green Building Neighborhoods


Researchers prof. dr. Darren McCauley and dr. Pieter Tuytens have won a new Horizon 2020 project. The PROBONO project was selected among 115 proposals for the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme call: Building and renovating in an energy and resource efficient way. The PROBONO project consists of a multidisciplinary team of 47 partners, construction and consulting entities, public asset service managers, municipalities, technology solution providers and experts. The project aims to turn six European districts (PROBONO´s Living Labs) into Green Building Neighborhoods (GBN), with positive energy balance and zero carbon emissions. McCauley and Tuytens will focus on behavioural analysis and operational best practices.

Barriers to realize zero-carbon green buildings and neighbourhoods.

The ambition for sustainable and green buildings across Europe has encountered several barriers (e.g., as related to high upfront construction costs, access to capital, social attitudes, lack of information, experience and incentives). To answer the challenges related to the green building market, the Horizon 2020 PROBONO project envisions a people-focused European construction industry working in harmony with the broader community of stakeholders. Here, public authorities and citizens are involved to deliver scalable, sustainable, and viable energy positive and zero-carbon green buildings and neighbourhoods.

Six living labs pilots across EU states

The projects aims to provide validated solutions for the design, construction, and operation of new and/or retrofitted zero-pollution and positive energy buildings as part of sustainable green neighbourhood developments. The type of neighbourhoods will be piloted across six EU states where the PROBONO living labs will be established. The living labs will be linked to business and municipality greening plans.

Behavioural analysis and operational best practices

McCauley and Tuytens, part of the Global Social Challenges research theme, will help determine which behavioural factors need to be incorporated within the design phase of a project for each living lab in the project.Moreover, they will research how to manage the project through governance, education, awareness-raising and incentives during its operation. A behavioural carbon footprint analysis will be used to capture predicted interactions of behaviours upon energy systems.

Policy tool to help develop plans in line with SDG’s

The ambition is to design a policy tool that will help decision-makers understand the transition challenges and enablers at each stage of the building lifecycle, from planning to end-of-life. The policy tool will help develop action plans and strategy documents that are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more about the PROBONO project.

More information

Marjolein Kooistra, press officer ESSB, | + 31 6 83676038

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