“We are acting today to make the EU the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050. The Climate Law is the legal translation of our political commitment, and sets us irreversibly on the path to a more sustainable future. It is the heart of the European Green Deal. It offers predictability and transparency for European industry and investors. And it gives direction to our green growth strategy and guarantees that the transition will be gradual and fair.”
The EU is committed to becoming climate neutral by 2050 under The European Climate Law. The European Green Deal is a plan to make the EU’s economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities by moving to a circular economy and cutting pollution.
Interestingly, approximately 77% of the EU residential buildings were constructed before 1990 and at present c. 11% of Europeʼs population still experiences energy poverty due to poor building quality, and in particular, thermal inefficiency.
What is H2020-RINNO & how did the project come about?
Launched in June 2020, RINNO is a four-year project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and will focus on developing solutions for the construction industry. These aim to accelerate (triple) the rate of deep renovation in energy inefficient buildings around Europe. This will contribute to reaching the target of 32.5% in energy savings set by the European Green Deal.
“The idea for RINNO came from the necessity to innovate European buildings in a cost efficient manner to accomplish the EU energy efficiency and environmental ambitions.
The project aims to deliver a portfolio of innovative technologies and a framework of solutions that will help drastically accelerate the renovation of energy inefficient buildings around Europe.”
What innovative technologies will RINNO use to address deep renovation challenges?
As outlined in the project launch press release, this €4.8 million EU project aims to tackle the issue of energy efficiency in EU residential buildings. This will be achieved through novel technologies, processing and business models, including new materials, assembly using robots and cobots, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and Blockchain-enabled crowd equity funding.
‘”RINNO will facilitate an ICT (Information and Communications Technology) enabled approach to replace old fashioned building renovation methods with new ones. It will be involved in all four renovation phases: planning, designing, retrofitting and monitoring.’”
To achieve this, H2020-RINNO will provide the following tools:
- An IoT (Internet of Things) multi-sensorial network for monitoring and controlling the dynamic behaviour of buildings during the operational phases of renovation.
- Novel capturing and mapping techniques. These, in conjunction with digital twin will provide an accurate representation of the building and its behaviour.
- An advanced renovation simulation and assessment tool box. This will be capable of simulating various renovation scenarios, evaluating them, and selecting the optimal one before the overall renovation activities. A renovation planner and process optimisation toolkit will then allow for planning and accelerating the overall renovation process.
- A renovation validation and benchmark tool that, along with passport and logbook tools, will allow ongoing validation and monitoring of the renovation process. To further ease the renovation process, a workflow manager and transactions tool is being developed. This aims to improve management of the overall workflow of the renovation process and to support secured transactions among stakeholders.
- On-the-job augmented reality (AR) environments for training workers in real time on-site. This is especially useful for upskilling workers in new technologies.
- A performance and monitoring platform for providing valuable information about the building to the occupants.
Finally, the project aims to develop an advanced collaboration platform which will allow end-users to exchange and share data, information, knowledge and experiences. This will allow for real-time collaboration, increased speed, quality and effectiveness.
All of RINNO’s individual tools will be interconnected and delivered in a marketplace, with an aim of providing valuable solutions and high quality products to the end-users. This will be a step towards the next generation of energy efficient renovation.
What is the first technical milestone of the project?
The first milestone of the project will introduce a renovation repository comprised of novel ICT technologies including:
- Modular building
- Envelope solutions
- Renewable energy solutions
- Harvesting and storage capabilities
- Multifunctional hybrid retrofitting solutions
This repository will be demonstrated in four sites located around different climatic zone of the EU and with different markets and diverse maturity. Demonstration sites will be located in:
These pilot sites will demonstrate the innovation process in reducing costs, disturbance and renovation times while increasing energy efficiency, environmental performances and occupant satisfaction.
“As an architect with special interest in renovation it is exciting to see how the rapid evolution of digital technologies is bringing architecture, construction and efficiency to a whole new level. Through ICT solutions and innovative products RINNO expects to deliver a reduction of energy usage of 30%, cost by 30% and time by 40%. I am really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in the coming four years.”
When will we see this first milestone of H2020-RINNO?
The first major technical milestone will be presented after the second year of the project. This will be the finalization of the RINNO renovation repository comprised of all renovation technologies of RINNO along with their technical characteristics. These technologies are the base for building digital twin, and will be the basis for all the renovation activities and the ICT tools previously outlined. Aside from this major milestone, ICT and technical product milestones will be delivered throughout the course of the project.
This article was adapted from an interview with RINNO partners Arianna Amati (Senior Consultant at RINA), Elsebeth Terkelsen (Architect MMA & Managing Director at European Green Cities) and Stelios Krindis (Postdoctoral Researcher at CERTH-ITI). They recently joined The Irish Institute of Digital Business’s dotLAB Radio podcast to give their insights and discuss the project in detail.