OpenHouse

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OpenHouse is a EU-funded project from the FP7 programme that helps to develop and implement a common European transparent building assessment methodology.

Full project title and funding programme

Full title of project: OpenHouse

Funding programme: Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

Subject

Assessment methodology for sustainable buildings

Schedule and project consortium

Schedule

01.02.2010 – 31.07.2013

Project consortium

The project OpenHouse was conducted by 20 partners from 12 European countries. Have a look on the project consortium here: Project consortium of the OpenHouse project

Description

The overall objective of OPENHOUSE is to develop and to implement a common European transparent building assessment methodology, complementing the existing ones, for planning and constructing sustainable buildings by means of an open approach and technical platform.

OPENHOUSE developed a transparent approach able to emerge collectively in an open way across the EU. This approach was communicated to all stakeholders and their interaction and influence on the methodology were assured in a democratic way.

Existing standards formed the baseline (both CEN/TC 350 and ISO TC59/SC17), the EPBD Directive and its national transpositions and methodologies for assessing building sustainability at international, European and national level.

Problems to be addressed

The core assumption of the approach is that there is little chance for any assessment methodology to become the mainstream and to reach the “label” level, unless it is something that has been developed in a transparent, collective way.

Only EU wide discussion towards a common approach will produce an EU wide assessment methodology for sustainable buildings contributing to current activities on standardisation of assessment methodologies at European level and also to a European potential related standard. Transparency is the key word; just as the ISO recommendations wisely highlight.

Objectives

  • To develop and to implement a common European transparent building assessment methodology, complementing the existing ones, for planning and constructing sustainable buildings by means of an open approach and technical platform.
  • To define the OpenHouse baseline: An open and transparent European platform for building sustainability.
  • To widely communicate the baseline concept and outline the mechanism for interaction among the project and stakeholders.
  • To build up the OPEN HOUSE Platform: facilitating a pan EU effort towards a common view on building sustainability. (This platform is not accessible after project end.)
  • To pave the way for implementing and evaluating the methodology: selection of case studies and mechanisms for decision making.
  • To evaluate and refine the methodology by the feedback resulting from case studies and real sustainable public procurement cases and other stakeholders inputs.

Actions on low-carbon economy, energy efficiency and nZEBs

Analysis and evaluation of existing methodologies, normative, standards and guidelines related to the sustainability of buildings.

Definition of indicators, sustainability performance levels and procedures to evaluate them (including; climate zone, building types, weighting issues, LCA, LCC). Analysis of the opportunities, barriers and best ways of implementing the OPEN HOUSE methodology in public tender processes at EU level.

The whole project focused on the same thematic field like the CESBA initiative.

Main results

  • Harmonised assessment methodology.
  • Standardisation of assessment methods.
  • Support standards CEN TC/350.
  • Scientific support for existing certification.
  • Assessment methodology for countries/regions/ cities without national ones.
  • Support for implementation of EU policies.
  • Support for the building industry and research with common metrics and updated benchmarks.

Outputs developed by the project

Outputs

These project outputs have already been published:


Further outputs are awaiting publication. They will be very valuable deliverables for CESBA.

Usage of outputs

The OpenHouse platform is not accessible and therefore cannot be used. No statement if possible if wether the other outputs are currently used, but they could be well used for the harmonized CESBA assessment.

Uncovered expected needs

There is a lack of widespread implementation for EU wide adoption.

Project strengths and weaknesses

Project strengths

  • Wide catalogue of case studies and data.
  • Normalization and harmonization efforts in a complicated landscape.
  • Creation of ready to use tools.
  • Transparent and open development.

Project weaknesses

Lack of follow-up vision, therefore causing minimal usage after the project ended.

Contact and homepage

Acciona Infraestructuras S. A.

Madrid, Spain

Daniel Hiniesto Muñoz de la Torre

Email: dhiniesto@acciona.es

Tel.: +34 91 791 20 20

Project homepage

References

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