Europe is amidst a housing crisis, now combined with spiralling energy costs to heat and cool our dwellings. An increasing number of people in the EU are struggling with finding a proper home. Rapid construction is more urgent now than ever. Just building houses like we’ve done for the past century won’t cut it. New homes need to be built with sustainable biobased materials, must have a low carbon footprint, and must be energy-efficient and affordable.
Since 2018, the EU-funded Interreg North-West Europe Housing 4.0 Energy has worked on finding solutions to these challenges. Partners and research institutions from Flanders, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands have explored the possibilities of building affordable, zero-energy homes. Innovative techniques, material usages, and design and construction processes were developed. Pilots were carried out at four locations in North-West Europe, resulting in actual homes tested by various target groups, each demonstrating unique innovative design and construction solutions.
During the conference on Monday, the 23rd and Tuesday, the 24th of May, what insights the pilots have yielded will be shared. Be inspired by engaging keynote speakers, interesting debates and practical workshops. The fitting setting for the event is the Floriade Expo 2022 – ‘Growing Green Cities’, hosted by the city of Almere.
Ank Bijleveld (NL), Mayor of Almere, will provide guests with a warm welcome
Jan Rotmans (NL), Professor of Transition Studies and Sustainability at Erasmus University Rotterdam, reflects in his keynote on why innovation is essential for current sustainability challenges and what transition means for the building-industry.
Joke Dufourmont (BE), expert on Circularity in Urban Regions at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, provides a keynote on how good governance and a holistic approach are indispensable in achieving a major green impact.
The Four Pilots. On the mainstage of the conference, the four H4.0E pilots and the key lessons learnt from implementing them will be presented. The challenges for the coming years will be set by Housing 4.0 Energy Ambassadors Chris Troniseck (BE), Marion Jammet (IGBC, IE) , Marnix Norder (Steenvlinder NL).
Florian Thoma (AT), Director of Thoma Holz100, implementing the Baden-Württemberg pilot, will call for healthy construction ‘without compromise’ and creating a more innovative and future-facing construction industry.
Alastair Parvin (UK), CEO at Open Systems Lab and co-inventor of WikiHouse, will demonstrate the open-source Housing 4.0 Energy platform, which aims to use digital manufacturing to radically democratise the development of cities.
Natasja van den Berg (NL), expert in citizen participation and sustainability, will be the event’s host. Van den Berg authored the book Practical Idealism, which explores successfully integrating idealism into people’s daily lives.
During the conference, sustainable innovation challenges and possibilities will be discussed with a wide array of international speakers with backgrounds in research as well as the public and the private sectors. Over the course of two days, Housing 4.0 Energy shall demonstrate solutions to the institutional, financial, legal and technical barriers to upscaling our model for small-scale, affordable, low carbon homes across Europe.
The findings of the last four years of the Housing 4.0 Energy project will be addressed: what is needed for large scale construction of affordable, low carbon housing, how the construction industry shall be stimulated to build more sustainable housing, and what is required of (local) governments to ensure that the market for affordable, low carbon homes is sustainable into the future.