The call for STSMs for grant period 3 is now open!
Call updated October 21 2019! Please download the new call text.
STSMs are research visits to a host institution where the applicant will perform research activities that advance the objectives of RESTORE. STSMs must be between 5 and 90 days (although, they may exceed that duration in specific instances for Early Career Investigators). RESTORE STSMs are financially supported by the Action with a fixed contribution of up to 2500 EUR. More information is available in the call text [ PDF ], and in the COST Vademecum (Section 8 of the May 2019 version).
You may contact the RESTORE STSM manager with questions by emailing Jelena Brajković .
The results of STSMs conducted during the first grant period are available here.
The results of STSMs conducted during the second grant period are available here.
The RESTORE Action supported and funded the following STSMs:
Name: Alessandro Speccher ECI: Y WG: 4 From ITC: N
Dates: 12 October to 26 October 2019 Host: International Living Future Institute
Title: Best practices in order to achieve operative Net Zero Performances
Overview: Achieving real NetZero performance is technically feasable but practically difficult to achieve. Around the world there are several standards that could guide a project in obtaining green buiding performances but only fews are tuned to achieve net positive energy and water performances. The International Living Future Institute certification programs, focus the reasoning on real annual net performances. Working with this approach, it is not only a design and construction problem infact, it is well known that the best building will produce bad performances if not well conducted.
North America and Europe adopt a different approach on the matter. The USA use to speak about Zero energy building as a building that “produces enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements”, in Europe we introduce the word “nearly” so that a nearly zero-energy building is a building having “a very high energy performance, which requires nearly zero or low amount of energy for meeting the energy demand associated with a typical use of the building.
It is clearly understandable that the words “nearly” and “typical use of the building” need to define what is a typical use and standard building behaviours, opening infinites debates in order to continue business as usual way of thinking.
Achieving zero net performance is not just a technological challenge. It is also an ethical challenge because the way we conduct a building (a widely accepted ratio of the highest and lowest energy consumption in identical houses is about 3) is also the result of how we consider that a small part of the world population uses most of the available resources.
For additional information and potential collaboration, please contact Alessandro directly at: email@example.com
Name: Marco Giampaoletti ECI: Y WG: 4 From ITC: N
Dates: September to October 2019 Host: Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
Title: Methodologies, tools and technologies available for POE
Overview: The STSM CA16114 – REthinking Sustainability TOwards in Regenerative Economy carried out in Belgium at the Université catholique de Louvain, in the months of September and October 2019 contributed to define the methodologies, tools and technologies available for POE.
The reading and selection of over 50 scientific papers according to pre-set reading keys has allowed a systematic cataloging and definition according to the method (longitudinal, transversal, point in time), the procedure (questionnaires, surveys) and the most used protocols (LEED , BREEAM, WELL, Green Mark, Green Star) analyzing the credits and prerequisites currently present in environmental certifications for new buildings or existing ones according to the POE parameters.
For additional information and potential collaboration, please contact Marco directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Katarzyna Kalinowska ECI: Y WG: 4 From ITC: Y
Dates: 03 January to 10 February 2020 Host: Córdoba University, Spain
Title: Comprehensive concrete recycling method as an eco-friendly aid for the environment and construction companies
Overview: Particular emphasis in the subject of sustainable development and circular economy is given to the waste recycling. My interests are focused on concrete waste, the possibility of recycling and reuse. It should be stressed that concrete is the most-used building material in the world, and its usage is comparable to water consumption.
Unfortunately, around 900 million tonnes of concrete waste are generated every year in the world. It should be remembered that the production of concrete consumes billions of tons of natural aggregates, the deficits of which can be found in many regions of the world. In addition, the cement production process, an indispensable component of concrete, is responsible for about 5% of the anthropogenic CO2 production in the world. It is common that concrete (rubble) waste goes to landfills or is used for levelling land. This is a huge waste of natural resources.
The key aspect is to carry out research on the usefulness of the developed recycling technology on industrial rubble, i.e. derived from a mixed concrete debris from the construction and post-production waste. Such research will make a contribution to showing entrepreneurs and concrete plants how to successfully turn waste into a valuable product again. It will also be an important step towards making society and entrepreneurs aware that it is generated huge amount of this type waste, and that there are cheap, effective ways to manage it, for the benefit of companies and the environment.
Referring to STSM plans and WG3 the effective recycling process for construction rubble has been developed which was planned as a restorative construction process, which uses innovative materials (with recycled coarse and fine aggregates), the way how the rubble should be recycled. In the result it is possible to minimizing construction waste – all generated concrete and masonry waste could be recycled and returned to the production process.
For additional information and potential collaboration, please contact Katarzyna directly at: email@example.com
Name: Rita Trombin ECI: N WG: 4 From ITC: N
Dates: 29 January to 29 February 2020 Host: International Living Future Institute (Terrapin Bright Green)
Title: Rethinking technologies for working with fractals. Ideating a new toolkit for restorative indoor Environment.
This STSM will promote restorative and satisfactory interior environments through a peer-reviewed, assessment-and-design oriented document: addressing key learning points about fractals; identifying the most appropriate data and resources to be made freely available to the scientific and design community, related sectors and industries; exploring and rethinking technologies for working with fractals.
This STSM is a joint effort between the Biophilic Design Initiative promoted by ILFI (International Living Future Institute) with Terrapin Bright Green, Cost Restore Action, Eurac Research, and many other partners, including industry professionals and academics. Its output will be distributed beyond this global network and published on Terrapin’s website in the upcoming weeks after a reviewing process.
This tool will be available as a framework for designers to implement fractals in the built environment in order to improve Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ). By using this reference document, building managers and operators can also increase the satisfaction of building occupants by considering fractal design implementation as a significant aspects of IEQ.
Future work: This STSM greatly informed and inspired Rita to work with fractals to create restorative and satisfactory indoor environments, and she hopes it will raise the urgent need to rethink technologies for working with fractals. Rita would like to work more in depth exploring fractal design for health, such as by initiating and contributing to innovative integrative design projects incorporating fractals.
Rita Trombin is an environmental psychologist and supports people to shape the everyday environments of their lives, on a continuum between their outside (physical) and inside (psychological) spaces. Rita’s interest is for applying psychological theories, biophilic design and evidence-based methods in built environments to promote wellbeing, innovation and sustainability. Before this STSM, she has been pursuing various international opportunities in interdisciplinary research, consultancy, coaching, education, and editing. For additional information and potential collaboration, please contact Rita directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Rosa Romano ECI: N WG: 4 From ITC: N
Dates: 19 February to 02 March 2020 Host: Architectural Façades & Products (AF&P) Research Group of the Architectural and Built Environment Department of the Delft Technical University
Title: Innovative envelope for regenerative environment
Overview: The goal of Rosa STSM was increasing her scientific experience through the exchange of knowledge within the Architectural Façades & Products (AF&P) Research Group of the Architectural and Built Environment Department of the Delft Technical University, where a multidisciplinary team of architects and engineers work with specific expertise in the field of energy in buildings, architectural building integration of renewable energy systems and technology, developing interesting researches on the scientific area of building envelope.
In detail, she worked on the definition of a bibliography focused on the topic of restorative design and the collection of adaptive and innovative technologies to achieve the Restorative KPIs. This information was used to build a matrix, where Rosa have defined, through examples and case studies, the four restorative building subsystems: envelope, interior, HVAC and Control.
At the same time, she reviewed the technological solutions that can transform an existing conventional building into a regenerative building. The goal was to identify the most interesting applications present on the building market (e.g., Ice-Powered Air Conditioning; DeVAP Air Conditioning; photocatalytic cementitious materials; Double-face 2.0; Living walls; etc.) and analyzing how each of these can interact with the indoor comfort. Furthermore, Rosa has summarized the connection between their technological features and environmental aspects into synoptic tables that will be used in the WG4 final booklet and in the “Atlas of Solutions”.
Last but not least, during the STSM Rosa had the opportunity to visit some biophilic buildings realized in the Netherlands in the last years to achieve the target nZEB with technological solutions that can increase the indoor comfort and the users’ wellness. Also, this experience was helpful to collect information to use in the future work of COST research and publications.
Rosa Romano is teaching Architectural Technology at the Schools of Architecture in Florence and Tirana and working as senior research in ABITA Interuniversity Research Centre, participating in national and international research on Environmental Sustainability and Energy Efficiency in Building. Her research is focused in particular on the topic of performances and technological features of the smart envelopes for nZEB. For additional information and potential collaboration, please contact Rosa directly at: email@example.com
Name: Laura Cirrincione ECI: N WG: 4 From ITC: N
Dates: 08 January to 28 February 2020 Host: Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology – LIST
Title: Vegetated roofs as regenerative tools for the mitigation of the building energy consumption and the improvement of the indoor comfort
Overview: In sight of pursuing a better energy efficiency, hence a more sustainable and regenerative utilization of resources related to human activities, the building sector plays a relevant role, being responsible for about 40% of both energy consumption and release of pollutants in the atmosphere. That is why, more effort in promoting actions and finding new strategies to improve energy savings and efficiency are necessary.
Within this context, the research work performed during the STSM consisted in the assessment of green roofs used as building passive technical solutions, considering two very different climatic contexts: the city of Esch sur Alzette in Luxembourg and the city of Palermo in the South of Italy (more specifically the district named “Bandita”, in the eastern part of the city).
Green roofs represent, in fact, a building envelope component capable of enabling to achieve a regenerative target, as they can have an impact on both the indoor thermal comfort and the energy consumption, helping reducing the size of the technical plants and limiting their use. Concurrently, they also have a positive impact on the outdoor urban environment inducing various benefits, amongst which the reduction of direct and indirect CO2 emissions, as well as the mitigation of the heat island effect, compared to other traditional interventions.
The objectives of the work conducted at LIST during the STSM, other than representing a contribution to the enhancement of the state of the art in the field, are aligned with the goals of the COST Action “RESTORE” WG 4 in the assessment of strategies for climate change mitigation actions in the building sector, going beyond the simple concept of energy savings and moving towards regenerative strategies for cities and improved indoor comfort conditions.
Specifically, during the first part of the work data relative to the buildings’ geometry and materials, and the layout of the studied city areas were collected and analysed, in order to first categorize the buildings, based on the construction period, the roof typology, the kind of materials utilized for both the opaque and glazed surfaces and the installed technical plants. Successively, the very popular EnergyPlus simulation code was used to simulate the thermal behaviour of the buildings with and without the installation of the green roofs. The simulations allowed to evaluate the indoor comfort levels, using the predicted mean vote (PMV) index, and the energy demand (kWh) of the considered buildings. In addition, an estimation of the CO2 emissions’ reduction was also performed, using relevant emission factors for the electricity and gas consumed to guarantee the thermal and cooling loads.
The results of the conducted research bring a contribution to the knowledge on the effect of green roofs in the context of urban regeneration, and can also provide useful information for urban design and climate change mitigation plans, especially regarding cities with similar climatic conditions and building stock characteristics.
For additional information and potential collaboration, please contact Laura directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Alberto Quintana Gallardo ECI: N WG: 4 From ITC: N
Dates: 06 January to 31 January 2020 Host: Innorenew CoE
Title: Regenerative wooden buildings in Europe: comparing Spain to other countries
Overview: The STSM dealt with the LCA of a model European wood house. The model house was previously designed by researchers at Innorenew CoE. The purpose was to compare the impacts generated over the life cycle of the house depending on the country or region where the house is located and to assess the possibilities of reaching the regenerative goal. The study conducted can be divided into four different phases:
Energy simulation: An energy demand simulation of the house was performed using the software Design Builder. The energy demand was assessed in five different locations: Munich, Ljubljana, Portoroz, Madrid and Valencia.
Life Cycle Assessment: The life cycle assessment of the wood house was developed in all five locations taking into account the specific characteristics that each country has and the different energy demands obtained in the simulation.
Use of biologic materials in Valencia (Spain): After the completion of the LCA of the house at each location, the LCA in Valencia is conducted again replacing the original façade with rice straw panels. This kind of panel is built using the straw remaining over the rice fields in Valencia after the harvest. Using the straw avoids carbon emissions generated by the traditional waste management techniques.
Review of HEMS: Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) bring the possibility of optimizing energy consumption and managing clean energy generation. A comprehensive review of research projects and companies that offer those kinds of systems was conducted.
After the completion of this study, several conclusions can be drawn. The first one is that the influence the electricity mix has is almost as high as the energy consumption itself. That leads to the conclusion that policy makers need to continue investing in renewable energy sources. It can also be concluded that using local biological materials could be an effective way of reducing the carbon footprint of the building. And last but not least, it becomes apparent that despite using low impacting materials and good thermal insulating materials it is necessary to use technologies to achieve the regenerative goal. The best approach then is to use low impacting materials and good passive insulation and then apply home energy management systems to further reduce the environmental footprint of the house.
Alberto Quintana is a doctoral candidate at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. The main objective of his work is to compare the suitability of the materials not only environmentally wise but also in terms of their acoustic and thermal characteristics. By combining those aspects, it is then possible to evaluate which materials adequate for the construction sector as alternatives to the conventional solutions. For additional information and potential collaboration, please contact Alberto directly at: email@example.com
Name: Ingrid Demanega ECI: N WG: 4 From ITC: N
Dates: 10 February to 21 February 2020 Host: EPFL Fribourg
Title: Controlled testing of low-cost IAQ sensors
The objective of this STSM at HOBEL (EPFL) in Fribourg (CH) was to perform a controlled testing of different low-cost indoor environmental sensors and monitoring devices under a set of environmental conditions commonly encountered in buildings, in order to evaluate the feasibility of assessing IAQ with low-cost measuring techniques. In particular, the following parameters were measured with different kind of sensors: carbon dioxide, particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), total volatile organic compounds (VOCs), air temperature and relative humidity. Measurement data were compared to those acquired with lab grate instruments under controlled environmental conditions.
Low-cost IAQ sensors are aimed to give an overall indication of the air quality inside a room and not an absolute point measure of the concentration in air of a certain substance.
Within the range most frequently found in residential buildings, low-cost sensors can appraise very well the CO2 concentration. Considering the variety of different VOCs that can be found in buildings and the resulting difficulty in assessing all of them, even low-cost sensors can give a reasonable indication of its concentration. Common activities inside residential buildings, such as cooking, vacuuming, the use of heating appliances or candles, generate particles of different sizes. Despite the difficulty in detecting very small particles (PM1), the tested low-cost sensors can appraise well the trend of particle mass concentrations giving an overall indication of the presence of particle inside the air. Overall, it can be said that the currently available low-cost sensors are a good solution to have a qualitative assessment of the quality of air within buildings.
All these key findings set the basis for a joint scientific paper focused on low-cost IAQ monitoring.
For additional information and potential collaboration, please contact Ingrid directly at: Ingrid.Demanega@eurac.edu