On-going projects

ARCH-E: The European Platform for Architectural Design Competitions 

ARCH-E is a project co-funded by the European Union under the Creative Europe framework (CREA). Its main objective is to promote high-quality architectural solutions for the built environment by increasing the use of architectural design competitions (ADC) in Europe and overcoming cross border market barriers in the market for architectural services; ADC structures determined by national frameworks and traditions and due to a lack of information exchange, there is very low transnational participation. This information lack excludes many architects from participating in the (cross border) market and thus hinders competition. Small/micro-enterprises - with an above- average proportion of female and/or young architects - are particularly affected, which has a detrimental effect on their professional career. Promoting ADCs will lead to a better implementation of the Davos Declaration for Baukultur and of the New European Bauhaus in European planning and building projects on a daily basis and will help to meet the climate challenge and to improve the quality of the built environment.

Main outputs are the ARCH-E Map, a comparative description of national ADC systems, the multilingual ARCH-E Glossary with technical terms and the Architects' Needs Report. The newly developed ARCH-E online platform provides a widerange information on ADC systems (with a special focus on consideration of Baukultur und New Bauhaus standards) and facilitates transnational participation; core element is a network of >500 architects from >20 countries, from which transnational working groups can be quickly recruited for participation in ADCs which is especially important for women and young professionals who usually have less transnational business contacts. In a White Paper we inform policymakers about the project results and provide recommendations how the internationalisation of careers, equal treatment and the Green Deal goals can be achieved best in architecture. 

New European Bauhaus Unlocked through Built4People (B4P)-endorsed Local Action

NEBULA project build-up from the work developed at Built4People (B4P) partnership. The European partnership under Horizont Europe is led by WGBC and ECTP and focuses on research for a People-centric sustainable built environment. Currently, ACE is represented on the partnership board. The NEBULA will activate and nurture a network of B4P Innovation Clusters (B4PIC) better connecting the B4P partnership to NEB activities. NEBULA will provide the networks with a package of supporting activities to:

1. Improve visibility, adoption and uptake of innovative solutions that are in line with the New European Bauhaus thanks to increased awareness of benefits from innovation and better access to co-financing.

2. Foster intensified, cross-sectorial and interdisciplinary peer-learning from front runners as well as cross-border cooperation and networking.

Prepare for the long-lasting activities of the network of B4PICs and the integration of future B4PIC.

A B4PIC is a local/regional cluster that has matured enough to fully address the following five dimensions, identified as success factors to foster EU-scale, multidisciplinary and sustainable innovation in the Built Environment:

1. Whole value chain: integrating all stakeholders from the whole Built Environment innovation value chain (e.g. academic & industrial innovators, architects and contractors, end users associations, local authorities, etc.)

2. Cross-sectoral: integrating the different disciplines of the new Bauhaus (co-design, inclusiveness, circularity etc);

3. Locally anchored with national outreach: connecting a local territory with networks at national and European levels (e.g. national or European associations);

4. Cross-border: interconnecting with clusters from other regions or Member States (e.g. euro-regions)

5. Access to testbeds and demo spaces: integrating or connecting to test beds, pilot buildings, and living labs facilities to demonstrate innovations.

The ACE will produce a Vade mecum on how to better implement NEB principles at all stages of innovation life cycles. In 2023 ACE will identify and engage NEB ambassadors and draw on the NEB collective and on the NEB WG. The peer learning activities are part of our work package, but it is led by the project coordinator DOWEL (FR). The ACE will also coordinate the development of an NEB platform for knowledge sharing by R2M (FR). Other results interesting for architects are for instance the mapping of existing public and private co-financing models and a finance Toolbox to empower innovation clusters.


For more information

NEBULA website | Linkedin page



Digitalised building permit and compliance using BIM to improve the productivity and quality of design and construction.

As an architect, have you ever needed to go through a lengthy process involving several documents, and certificate compliances to get your architectural design approved by the public authority? Or waited a long time to have feedback from the public authority regarding your submitted project?

The EU-funded project ACCORD develops a digital framework and tools to facilitate the building permit submission and approval, making the process more transparent, cost-effective and faster for all involved. The project team will integrate digital technical solutions using BIM to automated compliance checking of buildings in their design, construction and renovation/demolition lifecycle phases.

The cloud-based building permitting framework will be generic and flexible, allowing adaptation to a country-specific permitting process. It will include five software components: a rule formalisation tool, a ruleset database, an application programme interface, building permitting and compliance checking services. The digital tools and framework will be demonstrated and validated in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Spain, and the UK, using real project data and feedback from people involved in the building permit process, such as public authorities, architects, and engineers.

The ACE will lead the development of the e-Learning training material and training activities, linking it with its work groups of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Digitalization. Additionally, the ACE will support the dissemination and communication activities.


For more information

ACCORD website | Twitter page | Linkedin page | YouTube channel



ARV is a H2020 EU-funded project aiming at creating Climate Positive Circular Communities (CPCC) in Europe and increasing the building renovation rate in the continent. ARV (Norwegian word for “heritage” or “legacy”) has the overall aim to demonstrate and validate attractive, resilient, and affordable solutions that significantly speed-up deep energy renovations and deployment of energy and climate measures in the construction and energy industries.

The project is working towards the implementation of climate-positive circular communities in Europe, focusing on net zero-emission buildings and neighbourhoods. ARV will provide guidelines and a policy framework for future energy-efficient, circular, and digital solutions in the construction industry.

The vision of the ARV project is to contribute to speedy wide scale implementation of Climate Positive Circular Communities (CPCC) where people can thrive and prosper for generations to come. To achieve this, the ARV project employs a novel concept relying on a combination of 3 conceptual pillars, 6 demonstration projects, and 9 thematic focus areas. The 3 pillars are:

1) Circularity - meaning a systematic way of addressing circular economy through automated use of LCA (Life Cycle Analyses), digital logbooks and material banks;

2) Simplicity - making the solutions easy to understand and use for all stakeholders, from manufacturers to end-users;

3) Integration - coupling of people, buildings, and energy systems, through multi-stakeholder co-creation and use of innovative digital tools.


For more information

ARV website | Twitter page | Linkedin page | YouTube channel



ARISE inspires demand for sustainable energy skills, by providing clear learning interactions, transparency of upskilling transactions, and recognition of qualifications achieved.

Assisting the professionals to arise and move towards an energy-efficient built environment, the consortium partners foresee a stimulating approach to increase demand for sustainable energy and digital skills in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) sector.

ARISE's five enabling pillars:

- Alignment of skills with a harmonised EU Learning Framework

- Access to online training materials and tools 24/7.

- Assignment of the digital Market -transferable recognitions, to enable a wide recognition across the EU and beyond.

- "A-Credit-action" is based on a Continuous Professional Development type method and a novel "cryptocurrency for skills development" reward system.

- Assistance in the initialisation of legislative changes and supportive procurement measures, to further stimulate market demand

ARISE’s global goal is to revolutionize the learning process by changing both delivery and recognition of sustainable energy skills in the construction sector. The new system of training and recognition of skills will be valid across the EU, thus increasing the spread of skilled workforce in the building market.

It will also transform the learning process by monetizing skills development and learning exchange with a digital system based on skills recognition rather than accreditation. The training and transaction system developed by the project will reward learners as they achieve competence at a certain level with the cryptocurrency for skills exchange – CERTcoin – the innovative currency of skills and learning of the construction sector embracing today’s digital transformation benefits.


For more information

ARISE website | Twitter page | Linkedin page | YouTube channel



BUS-GoCircular - Shaping a Circular Sustainable Future

The BUS-GoCircular objective is to develop and implement a circular construction skills qualification framework with a focus on multifunctional green roofs, façades and interior elements. In addition, the project is strengthened by the application of successful train-the-trainer methods and techniques for upskilling both the demand and supply sides of the value chain involved. For stimulation of demand for sustainable energy skills, specific activities concerning companies, real estate, homeowners and local authorities will be developed, including support towards legislative changes through circular green procurement and recognition of skills. Implementation will be carried out at country-specific and regional levels, based on a blend of measures to stimulate demand complemented with hands-on and practical upskilling of local and regional training capacity and workforce. In this way, the broad engagement of SMEs will be ensured.

BUS-GoCircular understands the importance of a green energy workforce within the construction sector. Our aim is to address and overcome the challenges faced when implementing real change through equipping a green energy skilled workforce. Working collaboratively and upskilling both demand and supply sides of the value chain.


For more information

BUSGoCircular website | Twitter page | Linkedin page | YouTube channel



Started in April 2021, the 2-year project ‘Strengthening the security and resilience of at-risk religious sites and communities’ (S.O.A.R.) aims to advance the protection and safeguarding of European places for worship by design. The network of the partnership is extensive and includes representatives from all majority and minority faiths practicing within the EU as well as the ACE.

The ACE will be responsible to provide enhanced policy-dialogue within the EU institutions and EU member states on security by design. The concept of ‘security by design’ (SBD) incorporates security features into the design and fabric of the building. Experts in the fields of SBD such as public authority planners, architects, designers, engineers as well as faith leaders will be providing support and training in seven pilot countries: France, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark. National, regional and local training in these countries will be provided and include a focus on increasing collaboration and cooperation between security offices and leaders of places of worship with their wider communities and public authorities.

One of the final results will be architectural and design best practice examples that the ACE will identify through a EU wide competition. These will be used to develop design guidelines improving security of religious sites and their associated public spaces for all congregants and visitors.


For more information

SOAR website | Twitter page | Facebook page



DRIVE 0 contributes to the decarbonization of the European building stock by developing a consumer-centred circular building renovation process in order to make deep building renovation more attractive for consumers and investors, environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

The project provides solutions not only for renewable technologies but also for recycling and reusing locally available resources and building materials from the existing building stock. It develops proven deep renovation products further into circular renovation products with an emphasis on easy to install plug & play prefab solutions for building envelope elements and building services. 

An ‘EU Circular Renovation Atlas’ will be developed. It will look into the design process of deep building renovation solutions in order to take into account locally bio-based materials in different processes such as re-use, re-process and recycle. The project will also develop consumer centred business models based on circular building renovation concepts supported by digitalisation and gamification. 

The result provides an attractive and understandable information of real total life-cycle performances for consumers and potential investors. The solutions produced will be fully automated BIM controlled production processes and they will be tested and validated in seven demonstration cases in Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain.


For more information

Drive 0 website | Twitter page | Facebook page | Linkedin page



Cultural-E goes a step beyond Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEBs) towards the future of Plus Energy Buildings (PEBs). The team is approaching this topic by looking at climate and cultural differences in the use of residential buildings around Europe. By the end of the five years the project will have built four new Plus Energy Buildings in France, Germany, Italy and Norway. Cultural-E will also produce design tools, smart technologies, methodologies and policy recommendations for Plus Energy Buildings.

The project team develops technologies that take into consideration the local climate and socio-cultural contexts to enable a comprehensive optimisation of value/cost ratio of PEBs. One of the design tools will be an interactive atlas of the different European climate-cultural geo-clusters in combination with possible solution sets in order to provide guidance for architects and designers interested in building PEBs.

The smart technologies such as cloud-based House Management System, combining natural ventilation in a smart hybrid ventilation system, smart air movement system, and the decentralized Packed Heat Pump system will be further developed. Existing technologies such as photovoltaic/battery systems, thermal insulation materials, thermal mass activation and storage, shading systems will be further consolidated. Eight climate and cultural solutions sets will be developed.

The affordable solutions will guarantee a plus energy balance, a deep reduction in GHG emissions, healthy and comfortable indoor environments, provided by climate-resilient technologies. The team will also look at co-benefits, such as health and community impact. For instance, a PEB could balance the energy needs of a cultural heritage building in the same district, which cannot be retrofitted.

The architects and designers will also be provided with an easy to understand and informative data visualisation for energy simulations to support the design of Plus Energy Buildings. Finally, the project intends to accelerate the transition from nZEBs to Plus Energy Buildings by providing policymakers with evidence-based recommendations that address cultural factors and legal barriers. One of ACE’s responsibilities is the drafting of various policy papers aimed at the next EPBD revision 2024-2026, at the end of the project.

Follow our Social Media Channels @Cultural_E and learn about the innovative solutions Cultural-E is developing.


For more information

Cultural-E website | Twitter page | Facebook page | Linkedin page



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