Progress of the project

Article April 2020


Covid-19 impact

Even though the Covid-19 virus has impacted our project to some extent the project managed to stay on track concerning the development of the blueprint of the products and the factory. Being an international project we were already used to share information through a shared platform and with video conferences. We were therefore to some extend ready when the virus infected the world.

However, it is questionable if the development of the business case of building the first factory in the province of Overijssel in the Netherlands, will still be on track. The Covid-19 has already impacted some industries in the province which resulted in a shift of priorities. 

Also some parts of the project have not been spared by the virus. A presentation at an EU event in Brussels, which was scheduled in March as well as the Beyond2020 World event in Gothenburg in June were cancelled, and some other smaller national presentations.

Decision making processes on showcase locations with housing associations in the Netherlands and Germany were also affected by delays.

Contribution: Ulla-Britt Krämer, project manager, Provincie Overijssel, the Netherlands

Article February 2020

INDU-ZERO project group

First draft of the blueprint

Halfway through the project we want to share that we have achieved a major milestone in the project. During the INDU-ZERO meeting in Enschede (NL) in the beginning of January 2020, the project partners presented the first draft of our product-, factory- and logistics blueprint. We still have 1 ½ year left to fine-tune these blueprints and fill them accordingly.

Looking at the goal of our project we are working on the reduction of CO2, which is also one of the goals of the European Commission’s ‘Green Deal’. Renovating the current housing stock will help reduce these emissions. However when setting up a factory on this scale we also need to think of the CO2 impact of the incoming materials, the logistics, the building of the INDU-ZERO factory itself, the production processes and the products that will be produced. Optimizing all these processes, not only the end-products, will have a huge positive impact on our environment, but also the surrounding topics.

A big challenge for this year is also the realization of the showcases in the 6 different EU countries. By realizing the showcases we want to make the project more tangible for the outside world. The showcases will also provide us with information on how the new developed products are performing.

During our international project meetings it is always great to see that boundaries vanish when working on a common goal. The collaboration between the countries, the results we’ve achieved so far and the importance which the subject provides gives us energy and motivation to work on INDU-ZERO in 2020.

Contribution: Ulla-Britt Krämer and Anneloes Krone, project management, Provincie Overijssel, the Netherland


Article 2 September 2019

Project group INDU-ZERO

When I was thinking about writing this newsletter I came to realise how much we have accomplished so far in so little time.It makes me proud to work with so many enthusiastic people from all over Europe sharing the same goal: the sustainability of houses in the European North Sea Region.

Now that we are halfway through the project it is time to reflect and share what we have accomplished so far.

  • The communications flow has started tremendously. We began as an unknown project in February and grew in a short time to a party that is asked to present the project nationally and internationally.
  • We have generated 2 reports and published them on our website to substantiate the choices we made in the process so far.
  • The renovation packages the factory is going to produce are redesigned at the moment to fit the automation, costs and circularity requirements. The key changes will be shown at the webinar on the 14th of November. If you are interested you can sign in on our website.
  • The 1st concept blueprint of the factory is in development at the moment and will be presented at the next project meeting in January 2020.
  • There is interest to build the first INDU-ZERO factory in the Netherlands. To establish the demand side, several meetings are held with enthusiastic Dutch housing associations.

These results make me feel confident that we will continue to meet the set goals and finish this project successfully! 

Contribution: Ulla-Britt Krämer, project manager INDU-ZERO, Provincie Overijssel, the Netherlands 

 Article 1 September 2019

Smart factory INDU-ZERO

Smart Factory Blue Print research investigation

The blue print of a smart factory for renovation package manufacturing within the INDU-ZERO project is being investigated at the Advanced Forming Research Centre and Space Mechatronics Systems Technology Laboratory at the University of Strathclyde. Preliminary progress has been made and results produced. These include work on the modelling of a manufacturing process for an existing renovation product - a sandwich panel. And an initial manufacturing process has been studied.

Based on the analysis of a typical manufacturing process for such products, a manufacturing process model has been constructed as shown in Figure 1.
Click here for figure 1

This model shows the individual manufacturing stations and associated processes in such a production line. Each process is further defined using a number of attributes to quantify the performance of that process.

In order to understand the renovation panel manufacturing process as well identifying any potential improvement through optimisation, the project team have been simulating the workflow of an existing factory using a process simulation system, which is a tool for planning, design, optimization and reengineering of manufacturing process. 

The simulation allowed the team to identify the bottle neck processes in the whole production line. As an example, in the current manufacturing, the gluing process has been identified as the main bottle neck. By studying these manufacturing processes, the team has gained a good in-depth understanding of the demands and requirements of different manufacturing durations and these provide a good insight for further improvement study.

Contribution: Xiu T Yan, Strathclyde University, United Kingdom

Article June 2019


Dwelling stock that is suitable for INDU-ZERO solution
In May INDU-ZERO published its first report about the type of houses that are suitable for the INDU-ZERO solution. The report was written by project partners Christian Struck, Gerard Salemink and Bram Bruins. It presents an overview of the dwelling stock in the countries participating in the project.

Two research questions are being answered:
1. Which dwelling type(s) and building period(s) is/are most common in the six countries?
2. Which building type from which building period(s) is / are the most important to renovate until 2050?

To identify the potential of industrialization and to define minimum product specifications for industrially produced renovation packages the present dwelling stock is reviewed and differentiated per country by dwelling type and building period.

The data analysis indicates that terraced and semi-detached as well as apartments are most suitable for industrial renovation. As detached buildings are in most cases owner-occupied dwellings, they cannot be renovated on large scale.
And it is suggested to target the building period from 1965-74 to define archetypical buildings for the definition of renovation packages.

Read the full report

Contribution: Christian Struck, Gerard Salemink, Bram Bruins ((Saxion University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands)

Article March 2019


Ready for take-off
Forming teams within an international project is always a challenge. It took a while to get to know each other and each other’s fields of expertise, but now we’re ready for take-off. The project activities started in three lines: technology, customers and international cooperation. Work has been done to map the similarities of housing stock, building styles and building technologies in the participating countries. 

What’s been done so far
All the activities have been focused on the social rental housing built in the period 1950-1985. In addition, the different types of renovation panels have been inventoried and analysed. The costs of a few energy zero concepts have been analysed and the first contacts were made in countries for show cases.

The next couple of months
Three common and promising housing typologies in different countries will be selected. Also one or two panel technologies will be selected, e.g. timber frame construction and/or sandwich panels. The selection will be based on the potential for cost reduction, industrialization, (building physics) quality, circularity and usability in the different countries. As a follow-up to the choices, the first design concept will be outlined for a highly-automated production process. In addition, activities will be intensified on identifying showcases as well as matching between customer demands and the end product from the factory, so the adoption.

Contribution: Gerard Salemink, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands