INDU-ZERO – How do we renovate 22 million houses towards energy neutral?

Zwolle, Netherlands Construction and Development, Economic sustainability, Environment and Resource efficiency, Target groups of housing
EU funded project


Mass uptake of home renovations towards energy-neutral in the NSR is needed to meet EU energy and climate targets. The building sector in Europe is not creating the necessary production facilities. INDU-ZERO’s solution is to design a factory blueprint, based on Smart Industry and Circular Economy, with capacity to manufacture renovation packages suitable for all NSR countries, at a high volume (15.000 renovation packages/factory/year) and at 50% lower cost.

This blueprint, together with INDU-ZERO’s project adoption activities, will lead investors, building materials groups, housing owner associations, municipalities, governments and public authorities to bring about initiatives that will result in the needed factory developments. These factories, and the 50% cost reduction in renovation packages, will lead to a mass market uptake of home renovation packages towards energy-neutral and will ultimately reduce the environmental footprint of the NSR countries to meet EU energy and climate targets.

The project focuses on:

1. Redesigning and adapting existing renovation technology for next-generation Industry4 manufacturing.

2. Upscaling of renovation manufacturing such that the pace goes up and the costs go down.

3. Developing a blueprint for Smart Renovation Factory to manufacture the renovation packages. The blueprint will be available to all factory developers. The renovation packages will consist of an external insulated envelope, heat-recovery ventilation, renewable energy generation, and all will be recyclable (circular). The Smart Renovation Factory will have production capacity 15,000 house renovation packages per annum, and will achieve 50% reduction of renovation costs compared to current methods.


The North Sea Region (NSR) contains 22 million houses built in 1950-1985 that are causing 79 Mton CO2 of emissions annually. Current home renovations are being carried out on a limited-scale and many are not to nZEB standard, with three consequences:

1.The pace of renovations is too low.

2.Renovation costs are too high.

3.Properties not renovated to nZEB standard will continue emitting CO2, and reduce the time frame for a large uptake of deep retrofits.

So, the targets of the Paris Agreement, the Long Term Strategy of the EU and the ambitions of the Green Deal will not be attained if we continue with current means.

Issues tackled

Integrated design philosophy is an embedded reality within the INDU-ZERO project. This approach embodies success in delivering a building that not only improves life-cycle costs but also offers a greater potential to reduced first costs. By setting the goal on half price of current traditional solutions, the use of traditional materials is therefore turned down, as it would exceed the budget.

To keep the components simple and uniform the renovation package consists of the following items:
• A Façade
• A Roof .

Installations are embedded inside these two components. The existing building only functions as a skeleton for this new coat. The renovation packages include heating, ventilation and energy generation. A photovoltaic (PV) module is assembled on the roof component.

Actors involved

  • Provincie Overijssel (NL)
  • Strathclyde university (UK)
  • RC panels (NL)
  • Ghent university (BE)
  • ZIM (UK)
  • Bodo municipality (N)
  • Building Future Institute (S)
  • Nordlandforskning (N)
  • Johannesberg Science park (S)
  • Jade university of applied science (D)
  • Kamp C (BE)
  • Domijn (NL)
  • Buro de Haan (NL)
  • Saxion university of applied science (NL)
  • Recreate (NL)

Actions carried out

  • Renovation package (re)design
  • Design of the automated production process
  • Design of the logistics process (inbound, outbound)
  • Blueprint of the assembly on site
  • Showcases of the renovation in 6 EU countries


The automated production process will reduce 50% of the costs, compared to current manual production of renovation packages.

Why it works

Mass production manufacturing is proven in other industries to get a boost in productivity and quality and meanwhile lowering the costs. Sectors from retail to manufacturing have transformed their efficiency, embraced the digital age and boosted their productivity.

The project is still running and will end in June 2021. By the end of the project the mentioned targets will be achieved.



More information

This project has received funding from the European Interreg NSR (North Sea Region) programme.

The project started in July 2018 and will end in June 2021.