IRH med

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The project IRH-med plays an important role in the History of CESBA and has achieved useful outputs for the CESBA initiative.

Full project title and funding programme

Full title of project: Innovative Residential Housing for the Mediterranean (IRH-Med)

Funding programme: MED programme


Housing Sustainability Assessment model (HAS), suitable for MED traditions, climate and society.

Schedule and project consortium


04/2010 – 08/2012

Project consortium

Within the IRH-Med project, 10 partners from South European countries jointly work on the topic of innovative housing:


Most of the Mediterranean construction market is related to the residential sector, including new building and retrofitting actions. Therefore, the development of a methodology to support and rate sustainable residential buildings is clearly a priority in the Mediterranean space. In this regard, the main objective of the IRH-Med project has been to design the basis for the future development of an innovative Housing Sustainability Assessment model (HSA), suitable for Mediterranean traditions, climate and society. It was expected that the results of the IRH-Med project would affect approximately 16 million dwellings, and more than 28 million inhabitants. The final project output proposes a common framework for residential buildings sustainability assessment in MED areas that can be used as a basis for the implementation of future regional initiatives.

Problems to be addressed

Sustainable development is one of the principal pillars of the EU policy. The design, construction, use and maintenance of buildings have a tremendous impact on our environment and our natural resources. All around the world, a huge amount of buildings are being constructed, with many more to be done.

It is very important to implement the idea of a sustainable development in the construction of those buildings. Urban stakeholders and citizens need a clear message: Today, moving towards an every-day practice of sustainability in social housing sector, involving the final users, is possible and necessary! Our effective concern and daily commitment should lead to assume a holistic responsibility of its actions; balancing investment costs with economic, environmental as well as social benefits.

The key issues in making constructions more sustainable include increasing comfort, health, and safety of the people who live and work in them.


  • To facilitate the development of common guidelines and policy approaches to assessing Mediterranean residential buildings.
  • To boost the use of sustainable and responsible models of housing.
  • To develop market opportunities for SMEs.

Actions on low-carbon economy, energy efficiency and nZEBs

  • Analyse of the current situation regarding building assessment in the Mediterranean regions.
  • Development of an assessment method tailored for the Mediterranean Space.
  • Test the assessment method.

Main results

Outputs developed by the project


Usage of outputs

The tool for housing sustainability assessment (HSA) developed in the project is currently used.

Uncovered expected needs

Only a minority of partners have really implemented an evaluation method similar to the HSA in their region after the project.

Project strengths and weaknesses

Project strengths

Transnational exchanges and common production.

Project weaknesses

Lack of motivation of some partners.

Contact and homepage

Agència de Suport a l'Empresa Catalana

Barcelona, Spain

Marta Rojas Gregorio

Tel.: +34 935511955

Project homepage


ViSiBLE report identification of successes and common challenges of EU-funded projects (2014)