NWO opens new NWA call on circular and emission-free building industry

transitie naar een circulaire en emissievrije bouw/Credit: Fin / Shutterstock

The Dutch research Agenda (NWA) has published a call that focusses on the accelerating the transition to circular and emission-free building industry, specifically aimed at renovation projects. Nearly 2.9 million euros will be made available for research by broad consortia of researchers and societal partners. These should not only target innovations, but also investigate the changes that are needed within the sector.

The building sector faces considerable challenges in the coming decades. In 2050, the built environment must not only be emission-free, but also circular. The call for proposals 'Transition to a circular and emission-free building industry' aims to realise breakthroughs and develop action perspectives that contribute to the transition of the building industry and to ‘renovation projects’ in particular. It is aimed at an integral connection between changes required for this within the sector itself and in renovation projects. Fundamental, applied and practice-oriented researchers from various disciplines are called upon to submit a proposal, together with partners from the field.

Thematic focus

The call for proposals focuses on existing buildings and invites interdisciplinary consortia to investigate, on a concrete case at the street or neighbourhood level, how buildings can be renovated in a circular and emission-free manner.

At sector level, a proposal can focus on cultural and behavioural change, the development of linear building chains into a circular ecosystem, or the expansion of the value concept.

In relation to the renovation projects, the projects can investigate how adapting the building process and design can lead to the improvement of a number of loops:

  • closing the loops, in other words, the closing of linear chains;
  • slowing the loops, using a redesign to realise a long lifespan of buildings and building components, and services that prolong the life span of buildings;
  • narrowing the loops, reducing material use;
  • enriching the loops, translating a broader value concept into buildings and area-focused working (neighbourhood focus).

Call for proposals

A budget of M€ 2.865 is available for a maximum of two proposals with a maximum duration of five years. Consortia can submit a pre-proposal till 20 January 2022 and a full proposal till 9 June 2022.

This NWA call invites knowledge institutions, societal stakeholders and practitioners to form broad consortia that work together in an extensive research project. The consortia must have an interdisciplinary and knowledge chain-wide composition. Knowledge chain-wide means that the project connects fundamental, applied and practice-oriented research. In addition, proposals must meet the knowledge needs of society, for example by involving societal parties and partners from the building sector to participate in the consortium from the off-set.

Matchmaking meeting

On Wednesday 29 September 2021, a matchmaking meeting will be organised to promote consortium building and interdisciplinary collaboration. From the end of August it is possible to register for this meeting via the NWO website, but please save the date!

About the Dutch Research Agenda

On behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, NWO has funded research in the context of the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA) since 2018. Within the NWA, NWO brings together interdisciplinary researchers, government bodies and civil society organisations and funds knowledge-chain-wide consortia (fundamental, applied and practice-oriented researchers). In line with the aim of the NWA, NWO also funds science communication and realises public information campaigns.

Thematic programming in collaboration with government bodies is one of the ways in which the NWA is realised. The aim of the thematic NWA programmes is to find answers to current societal questions. All of the research is set up in an interdisciplinary manner and involves the entire breadth of the knowledge chain as well as relevant civil society partners.