H4.0E - Housing 4.0 Energy

Project Summary

Interreg North West Europe project Housing 4.0 Energy (H4.0E) aims to develop a market for small, affordable near-zero energy homes (NZEHs) by adapting and applying new digital technologies, thus stimulating both consumer and supplier interest. Made up of five partner countries in North West Europe (NWE), the three and a half year H4.0E project will facilitate the uptake of low carbon and digital technologies, products, processes and services in the NWE housing sector to reduce carbon emissions and improve quality of life for homeowners in the region and beyond.

The Issue

The EU 2030 Framework for climate and energy sets targets for cutting 40% of CO2 emissions, increasing the share of renewable energy to greater than 27% and providing at least 27% energy savings across Europe. The North West Europe (NWE) region is the most industrialised region—as well as the most prolific CO2-emitting region—in Europe. Within this region, the private housing sector alone accounts for nearly one-third of all CO2-emissions, as there is currently no great push within this industry to achieve EU targets. Meanwhile, decreasing household size, changing patterns of regional population density and other social factors have led to a significant decline in demand for large, expensive and energy-inefficient homes; and in turn, this has led to the increased desire for smaller, more affordable energy-efficient high quality living spaces. The main goal of Interreg North West Europe Housing 4.0 Energy, therefore, is to offer people in NWE access to new affordable near-zero energy/low carbon homes (NZEHs) and zero energy/low carbon homes (ZEHs), effectively aiming to reduce home building costs by 25% and carbon emissions by 60%.

Housing 4.0 Energy for a better North West Europe

Housing 4.0 Energy (H4.0E) will develop an affordable ZEH market by adapting and applying new technologies, thus creating both consumer and supplier interest. Made up of five partner countries in North West Europe (NWE), the three-year H4.0E project will facilitate the uptake of low carbon and digital technologies, products, processes and services in the NWE housing sector to reduce carbon emissions and improve quality of life and affordability for residents in the region and beyond.

Digitization (4.0) techniques and the development of a H4.0E digital platform—designed to facilitate the digitalization of building homes and transferability of these techniques—will ignite fundamental changes in design, manufacturing and construction within the housing industry to meet both EU targets and the needs of homeowners in NWE. Using a client-based approach, H4.0E partners will work with local stakeholder groups—especially local authorities, housing associations, architects, self-builders, construction companies and current homeowners—across North West Europe. Starting from the needs, budget and expectations of end users, the project will identify and remove financial, legal and other obstacles related to housing preferences to meet the expectations of investors & diverse groups of small households. The project will be tested and monitored for viability in six pilot sites (in IRL, DE, NL, BE) representing varying levels of industry and carbon emissions, ranging from cities in low carbon regions to rural areas in less carbon conscientious regions. H4.0E is funded by € 2.5 Million in European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding with a total budget of € 4.2 Million.

Project pilots and outputs will include 48 NZEH/ZEH units in four regions & consumers’ evaluations, and partners are to attend regular seminars and events throughout the programme to monitor project progression and ensure effective collaboration. All NZEH/ZEH units will be constructed within the first 18 months of the project, allowing for extensive monitoring during the following months. Parallel testing in the six pilot sites will allow for transnational comparisons & learning; however, every pilot will maintain a distinct focus. The six H4.0E pilots include:

  • Gemeente Almere (Almere, Netherlands): WikiHouses in urban areas, demonstrating digitised (4.0) self-building (WP5)
  • Province Flemish Brabant (Flemish Brabant, Belgium): NZEH/ZEH units in rural areas to be let to candidates on the waiting list of the local social letting agency (IP1)
  • EIfI-Tech (Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany): Multiple NZEH/ZEH buildings for students (IP2)
  • 3CEA (Carlow, Kilkenny & Wexford, Ireland): NZEH/ZEH units for low income groups in rural areas & monitoring user behaviour (IP3, 4 & 5)

All pilots feed data into the main output: the H4.0E Energy Building Technology that enables zero energy/emission housing building on a larger scale.

The Housing 4.0 Energy partnership includes eight organisations from five different countries in North West Europe.

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Address Email Website
Provincie Vlaams-Brabant 1 Provincieplein
H40E@vlaamsbrabant.be www.vlaamsbrabant.be
Name Contact Name Email Country
Europäisches Institut für Innovation - Technologie e. V. Chris Ashe c.ashe@eifi.eu Germany
Gemeente Almere Tineke Lupi tlupi@almere.nl Netherlands
TU Delft Marja Elsinga M.G.Elsinga@ tudelft.nl Netherlands
3 Counties Energy Agency Alexandra Hamilton ahamilton@ckea.ie Ireland
South West College Barry Mc Carron Barry.McCarron@swc.ac.uk United Kingdom
Open Systems Lab Helen Lawrence helen@opensystemslab.io United Kingdom
Kamp C Sofie Torfs sofie.torfs@kampc.be Belgium
Thoma Holz GmbH Florian Thoma f.thoma@thoma.at


H4.0E Guidebook: Coming Summer 2022

Posted on

The purpose of the H4.0E Guidebook is to outline and tell the story of the project, also serving as a call to action to the reader to inspire them to implicate, advocate, and innovate the H4.0E project across North-West Europe and beyond. The H4.0E Guidebook allows the H4.0E principles and practices to be continued and improved upon beyond the project’s end. Read More

H4.0E Guidebook in Development

Posted on

To ensure the longevity of the Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) Housing 4.0 Energy (H4.0E) project, 3 Counties Energy Agency - 3CEA (Ireland), along with the project consortium, are developing a H4.0E Guidebook to transfer and replicate the H4.0E concept & to show others how to develop H4.0E designs. Read More

H4.0E Ambassador Workshop

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In order to achieve the long term goals of the H4.0E project, 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA) in Ireland have begun the process of reaching out to industry leaders, policy drivers, and relevant stakeholders of the H4.0E project to join as H4.0E Ambassadors. To launch this effort, 3CEA hosted an Ambassador Workshop earlier this April. Read More


H4.0E at the Woonforum

, Online

Woonforum is the biannual study day for everyone who is professionally involved in social living in Flanders. The day is organised by the Flemish Agency for Social Living (Vlaamse Maatschappij voor Sociaal Wonen), the government agency responsible for social housing in Flanders.
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The Sustainability Grand Tour: Design for Manufacture & Assembly - a digitised solution to low carbon modular homes

, Online event - Zoom, Carlow, Ireland

As part of the Sustainability Grand Tour series, this webinar will examine a digitised solution to low carbon modular homes for the Irish housing crisis and their delivery through Interreg Housing 4.0 Energy. 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA), the Irish Housing 4.0 Energy project partner, will represent the project in the delivery of the webinar. 3CEA is a non-profit, independent energy agency working primarily in Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford.
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Housing 4.0 Energy Newsletter 1

Housing 4.0 Energy Newsletter 2

Housing 4.0 Energy Newsletter 3

Housing 4.0 Energy Newsletter 4

Housing 4.0 Energy Newsletter 5

H4.0E Pilot: Municipality of Almere

H4.0E Pilot: Province of Flemish Brabant

The Province of Flemish-Brabant

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As a part of the H4.0E project, six affordable small-scale houses with a low CO2 footprint will be built. The location for the Flemish pilot-houses is a former private camping site and area for weekend stays in the rural municipality of Huldenberg in the Province of Flemish-Brabant, with a large percentage of the inhabitants staying permanently in their chalet or caravan. Read More

H4.0E Pilot: Ireland

H4.0E Pilot: Baden-Württemberg

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