We are not Alone! Interreg, Sustainable Building & Retrofit

01 July 2021 - Published by Deirdre Buist
As the tight leash of pandemic lockdowns begins to slacken, our ambition for a sustainable energy future does not. The challenges we are now facing can seem daunting and are undeniably very complex. But with the EU Framework 2030 for climate and energy, the European Green Deal and the Renovation Wave to guide and support us, many projects within the various Interreg programmes are working hard on sustainable building, energy transition, efficiency and retrofit. We are not alone!

During a recent roundtable session, a group of coordinators and leaders from seven Interreg projects in the Netherlands and Belgium, dealing with these specific themes, got together. Supported by the Dutch national contact person at the RVO, they exchanged plans and views, discovered synergies and   investigated possibilities  to intensify  co-operation in the future.

Enormous challenge, multiple solutions

Following introductions and a round of project pitches, our joint goals and the distinguishing characteristics of each project became clearer. Stronghouse recognizes several links with our Interreg colleagues. Potential project overlaps need not be ignored. Clearly, the enormity of the challenges we all face in terms of future-proof building. CO2 reductions and Climate Change resilience  demands multiple solutions, research and development, innovations and testing.

The core of Interreg

That's at the core of Interreg. It’s also good to know that the new progrnamme period 2021- 2027, currently being developed, allows for smaller projects within the North Sea Region (NSR) and North-West Europe (NWE) Programmes.

Project pitches

The Stronghouse management team and project leaders from the Province of  Drenthe and the Municipality of Noordenveld were joined by representatives who pitched the following projects:

Housing 4.0 Energy (NWE)

H4.0 E Aims to develop a market for small, affordable near-zero energy homes (NZEHs) by adapting and applying new digital technologies, thus stimulating consumer and supplier interest. The project facilitates the uptake of low-carbon and digital technologies, products processes and services. More


Special renovation packages form the INDU-ZERO solution for quick and inexpensive sustainable renovation of existing homes. These renovation packages are helping more than 22 million homes in the NSR to quickly become energy neutral and future-proof. The partners are  developing a Blueprint for a fully automated factory that can produce these renovation packages at an industrial scale. More 


This project empowers citizens to actively participate in the energy transition and creates local energy communities using existing social structures. EMPOWER2.0 develops and adopts new, emerging and existing solutions for energy ownership, thus increasing energy awareness and renewable energy production. More 

LECSEA (2Seas)

The Local Energy Communities for the 2Seas region is also about energy communities. Like Stronghouse and EMPOWER2.0, it further develops the Customer Journey developed in another project – REFURB.  This project is creating a one-stop-shop concept for Energy Communities, a library of tested and tailor-made tools and services and methods to facilitate different target groups. There are also a number of lighthouse pilots to test the new legal options for creating Energy Communities.More

E=0 and MUSTBE0 (NWE)

The E=0 project is based on the successful Energiesprong Programme in the Netherlands, delivering zero-energy (E=0) retrofits with a 30+ years performance warranty. Installed within a week and at a cost paid for by the guaranteed energy savings and maintenance. This game-changing approach is now being upscaled to the North-West Region. More

Another NWE project that builds on the Dutch Energiesprong is MUSTBE0. Here, a cross-sectoral collaboration is working on the retrofit of at least nine demonstration buildings (400+ houses) to launch the market. The focus is on developing and improving retrofit packages (including customized facades and integrated energy and climate systems to cut time and costs). More

Joint Renovation Wave Event

One direct result of this exchange with complementary projects is that Stronghouse and INDU-ZERO are now planning a joint event this autumn. We want to raise more awareness about the European Renovation Wave and develop new coalitions. We are not alone. By pooling knowledge and experience across regions, countries and programmes we can increase momentum and ride the Renovation Wave together.

Please note 9th September 2021 from 10:00 – 13:00 (CET) and we will post more details closer to the event.