Project Progress – Part 1

03 November 2020 - Published by Deirdre Buist 2
With great enthusiasm and a shared urgency, the Stronghouse partners embarked on an energetic journey of transnational cooperation and exchange at the beginning of 2020. As often with such joint undertakings, ambitions, strategies, roadmaps and coordinated planning were all in place and the partnership was fully prepared…but not for Corona.

However, the Stronghouse project proved resilient and built on a sturdy basis. Just as the official Start Conference was due to kick-off in March, Europe went into a total lockdown. The agile methodology and design-thinking tools used by the partners enabled them to quickly create a sense of transnational trust, while adapting smoothly to digital conferencing and remote exchange.

Exchanging, engaging, enabling

A series of successful online sessions has provided the partners sufficient opportunity to share their existing practices in terms of how to engage homeowners, offer enabling tools for energy-renovation, implement a neighbourhood approach and support adoption strategies.

Despite the obvious limitations, initial contact has also been made with SMEs, research institutions and other relevant stakeholders regarding how to raise awareness, stimulate energy renovation and create a market for businesses specialized in energy renovation for individual home-owners.

The workshops organized by ProjectZero for local stakeholders, for instance, were especially interesting in this perspective. They form an inspiring example for other Stronghouse partners who are very keen to try this in their own area.

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Personas & end-users

The Stronghouse project has also taken first steps in developing user-stories, focussing on the end user. Using own insights and collected data, partners created Personas. These personas represent individual homeowners with an own identity, background demographic and (possible) motivation to consider the energy renovation of their homes. The man on the street or next-door neighbour. Personas are visualizations of real people and they form the basis of the user-stories on which the next phase of our project will be developed.

Highlights

During this initial phase Stronghouse has:

  • Worked on improving and expanding enabling instruments

  • Organized online and hybrid workshops on subsidies, loan-schemes and green finance for various stakeholders

  • Collected insights on how to raise awareness and organise support

  • Researched how to further develop social cohesion in neighbourhoods and villages

  • Created personas to provide more insights and develop user stories

  • Learned from related EU-funded projects how to increase energy awareness by homeowners

  • Held hybrid events to improve and develop market access for regional SMEs specialized in energy renovation

  • Worked on customer journeys from different angles, including the One-Stop-Shop model.

So, how is progress?

It’s been a strange year, worldwide. The Corona Crisis has already taught us many lessons and underlined the urgency to act now. While adapting to and accepting the situation as is, the Stronghouse partners have made a great start and continue to focus on the set goals we are jointly tackling – on the local, regional and international level. Cooperation is key and we’re proud to say…

”So far, so good!”

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