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.
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.
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.