BIOBUILD: bio-based solutions to bolster the energy efficiency of buildings

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BIOBUILD is a Horizon Europe project that aims to provide thermal solutions for energy efficiency in buildings through fully bio-based building materials. The project replaces fossil-based materials with new, non-toxic and sustainable building materials which are also geared towards thermal energy storage.

Currently, buildings in Europe account for 40% of energy use and about 95% of the binders used in wood-fibre composites are derived from fossil fuels. Non-biobased materials such as bricks, concrete, plastic, gypsum, glass and rock wool have high environmental footprints, limited recycling possibilities and should be replaced with bio-based, sustainable materials.

As part of the new changes to EU legislation, all buildings must be carbon neutral by 2030, transitioning to fully energy efficient buildings. Energy consumption should also be reduced by at least 11.7% at EU level. Accordingly, decreasing energy consumption and developing cleaner energy sources are key for reaching the EU’s climate goals and reducing its dependency on non-EU imports.

The project explores advanced insulation materials and techniques to minimise heat loss and improve thermal performance. This includes the use of sustainable lightweight materials such as wood fibres and recyclable materials which offer advanced thermal insulation properties compared to traditional insulation materials. These novel materials are fully recyclable and sustainable without toxic ingredients, and so contribute to the decarbonisation of major industrial sectors.

See the BIOBUILD concept below

The BIOBUILD Concept

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The BIOBUILD project aims to decrease energy consumption by up to 20% in buildings while retaining their strength  and improving their durability and sound insulation properties. The lightweight materials are composed of over 95% sustainable and bio-based compounds. The wood construction prototype buildings with novel wallboards and parquets will be demonstrated in Spain and Sweden.

BIOBUILD focuses on bio-composites as environmentally-friendly building materials with additional functionalities for energy storage. This approach will integrate bioPCMs into solid wood and fibres bound together by plant oil resins, lignin and fungal mycelium. BioPCMs have the ability to absorb and release thermal energy as they change phase from solid to liquid and vice versa.