Housing 4.0 Energy




About the project


Housing 4.0 Energy

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 pilot sites include:


  • Almere (Netherlands): WikiHouses in urban area, demonstrating digitized (4.0) self-building (WP5)
  • Province Flemish Brabant (Belgium): NZEH/ZEH units in disadvantaged rural areas (IP1)
  • EIfI-Tech (Germany): Multiple NZEH/ZEH buildings for students (IP2)
  • 3CEA (United Kingdom): 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.


Eligible Budget: 4,231,209.50-€

ERDF Funding: 2,538,75.70-€

Funding Quote: 60%



Provincie Vlaams-Brabant

Europäisches Institut für Innovation-Technologie e. V.

Gemeente Almere

TU Delft

Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency

South West College

Open System Labs

Kamp C

Funding Programme

Interreg VB North-Western Europe Programm

For more inforamtion visit the project website.



Project Objectives


 The project objectives are the following:


Housing 4.0 Energy will enable a huge switch of small households in NWE (urban & rural areas) to new affordable, zero energy/low carbon homes, leading to an extensive reduction of housing related CO2 emissions. Social housing associations will lead the way in the application of digitization techniques, the use of low carbon materials & zero energy techniques adapted to smaller housing units, creating essential changes across the entire construction supply chain that will save costs and energy.


The training programmes designed for the construction industry will enable architects, tradespeople and service providers to work with the H4.0E platform and implement the innovative techniques and tools that are used to produce the pilot houses. The training programmes for end users will provide occupants of the pilot houses an understanding of the key principles of comfort criteria, operation and maintenance of the integrated equipment.

To facilitate the uptake of low carbon technologies, products, processes and services in sectors with high energy savingpotential, to reduce GHG emissions in NWE.