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
South East Energy Agency Ralf Kampe rkampe@southeastenergy.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


The H4.0E Guidebook

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

Housing 4.0 Energy's open-source digital platform

Posted on

Along with the key deliverables of the zero-carbon and low-carbon houses, built at the diverse testbed sites in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Ireland, is an interactive, exploratory digital platform. The aim of the digital platform is to explore how we can use the world wide web to make it easier for developers, municipalities and communities to replicate manufactured housing solutions, like the ones being piloted by the Housing 4.0 Energy project. Read More


H4.0E Workshop Series: How the low carbon approach of H4.0E can fit the Irish Construction Policy Context

, Online - Link to register below

Hosted by 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA), the Irish H4.0E Workshop Series shall take place between 26 January and 2 March 2022. With the theme "How the low carbon approach of H4.0E can fit the Irish Construction Policy Context", the digital series is directed towards policy makers & drivers, those involved in housing construction, and other stakeholders.
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.
Read More

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 (Netherlands)

H4.0E Pilot: Province of Flemish Brabant (Belgium)

H4.0E Pilot: Counties Wexford, Kilkenny & Carlow (Ireland)

H4.0E Pilot: Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

Housing 4.0 Energy Conference

Affordable zero-energy housing for small households

23-24 May 2022

Floriade Growing Green Cities - Almere, Netherlands

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.

Register now for the Housing 4.0 Energy Conference: https://bit.ly/housing40energy



Beyond the pilots, to a sustainable, green and affordable built environment


During the conference on Monday, the 23rd and Tuesday, the 24th of May, we will share what insights the pilots have yielded. 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.


A few highlights

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, we will discuss sustainable innovation challenges and possibilities 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.

Together, we shall address the findings of the last four years of the Housing 4.0 Energy project: 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 well into the future.

Register now for the Housing 4.0 Energy Conference: https://bit.ly/housing40energy


Housing 4.0 Energy Conference Programme

Below are the presentations from the conference, which are made available to all participants following the event.

Practical information - FAQ



Monday 23 May - Tuesday 24 May 2022


The H4.0 E Conference will take place on the grounds of the Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere, The Netherlands.


You can register here for the H4.0E conference until 22 May 2022.


Participation in the conference is free of charge. Participants in the H4.0 E Conference also have free access to the Floriade site with their day ticket.

Map of the location

Floriade is not located in the center of Almere, but we have made sure that you can still come to the Expo in an easy way. You can choose whether you want to travel the last distance by boat, shuttle bus or public transport bike. View the map here.


Floriade is not located in the center of Almere, but there are several facilities to easily  get to the Expo and the conference center. You can choose whether you want to travel the last distance by boat or by shuttle bus.


From Almere Centrum station you can walk to the Esplanade within 10 minutes, where you then catch one of the electric boats that will take you directly to the Floriade park within 15-20 minutes. A return boat ticket costs € 4.50 per person.

Please note: Due to limited availability, we recommend that you book your boat ticket(s) in advance. You can do that here: book tickets boat and shuttle bus.


The shuttle bus departs from Almere Centrum train station. The price is € 5.00 per person
There is also a pick-up point for the shuttle bus at the Floriade Parking car park. Parking for Floriade is included shuttle bus ticket and costs € 5.00 per person

People who live closer to home are best come on foot or by bike. You simply store your bike in the bicycle parking under the station. There are also plenty of Velo stations nearby.

All the information can be find: https://floriade.com/en/address-and-route/

Food and drink

During the Housing 4.0 Energy Conference, coffee, tea and lunch are included. Regarding catering, we have taken your vegetarian preferences into account.


Sustainability is the theme, at this conference and of Floriade Expo 2022. In everything we do and bring, we try to take this into account as much as possible. For example, we do not provide gadgets, nor a printed programme.


There are currently no Covid-19 measures in place in The Netherlands. We assume that this will certainly remain the case during the summer months. In the event of a change in this situation, we shall provide additional information.

More information about the Floriade Expo 2022 you can find on this site: https://floriade.com/en/address-and-route/


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