CULTURAL-E - Climate and cultural based design and market valuable technology solutions for Plus Energy Houses

  • Project duration: September 2019 - September 2024
  • Project status:
  • Funding:
    Competitive Industries (Horizon 2020 /EU funding /Project)
  • Total project budget: €9,641,336.00
  • Website:

CULTURAL-E aims to define modular and replicable solutions for Plus Energy Houses (PEHs), accounting for climate and cultural differences, while engaging all key players involved in the building life cycle; to create comfortable, efficient, and affordable indoor environments. CULTURAL-E will develop technologies and solution sets that are tailorable to specific contexts and energy demands, as well as performing a comprehensive optimization of the value/cost ratio of PEHs. Sets of design-for-assembly technologies will be produced and driven by a careful mapping of European climates, building archetypes, and cultural energy habits; going beyond the positive by maximizing the share of the demand covered by renewable sources (toward Ø emissions in the operational phase). The CULTURAL-E solution sets are the result of a user-centric design process and aim to achieve and affordably maintain the best indoor environmental conditions. The houses become regenerative for the indoor and outdoor environment in the life cycle, with minor extra costs compared to nZEB, thus guaranteeing a sound return of investment. E-mobility is dealt through a dedicated management strategy to avoid energy demand peaks coming from the simultaneous fast-charging of multiple vehicles. Despite an “agnostic approach” to technology selection, CULTURAL-E will enhance the TRL of specific key technologies, such as air movement for summer thermal comfort, natural and mix-mode ventilation, packed and modular HVAC units, industrialized active window systems for natural ventilation and solar control, cloud-based house management system, and user involvement in the continuous building control, optimized envelope (tailored thermal features). Finally, to increase the replicability of the solutions and the adoption of a “cultural-centric” design, key market players involved in the PEH development are supported by dedicated tools and guidelines that will assist the development of robust, inclusive business models.

Work package 1 - Project management
Task 1.1 Overall Legal and Contractual Management (EURAC)
Task 1.2 Financial and Administrative Management (EURAC)
Task 1.3 Organisation and participation at Kick-off and Periodical Meetings (EURAC)
Task 1.4 Monitoring of Project Activities and Work Progress (EURAC)
Task 1.5 Risk Management (EURAC)
Task 1.6 Open Research Data Management (EURAC)
Task 1.7 Exploitation management (EURAC)
Task 1.8 Monitoring of gender balance and gender analysis (EURAC)

Work package 2 - Understanding Cultural and Climate drivers for Plus Energy Houses Design
Task 2.1 Culture and climate as variables in energy use in domestic buildings
Task 2.2 Mapping built-environment-related climate and cultural differences
Task 2.3 National and local regulatory frame and boundary conditions
Task 2.4 Validation and evaluation of the role of cultural and climate factors

Work package 3 - Development of pre-engineered and user-centred technologies and exploitation plan to accelerate market uptake
Task 3.1  User approach: three-part strategy
Task 3.2 Cloud-based House Management System
Task 3.3 Active Window system: integrated technical and system design, mockups and testing
Task 3.4 Smart air movement for thermal comfort
Task 3.5 Flexible and modular exhaust air heat pump unit
Task 3.6 Development of a compact high-capacity hybrid storage
Task 3.7 Technology solutions for building flexibility and e-mobility
Task 3.8 Specifications for the integration of technologies
Task 3.9 Exploitation of developed technologies

Work package 4 - Definition of PEH tailored solution sets and business models
Task 4.1 Definition of Plus Energy Houses metrics
Task 4.2 Development of data post-processing and visualization methodologies for simulation aided design
Task 4.3 Development of parametric models at whole building level to tailor solution sets to each climate/cultural context
Task 4.4 Multi-system control strategy and house management toward Ø CO2 emissions
Task 4.5 Life cycle environmental impact assessment
Task 4.6 Cost assessment of solution sets
Task 4.7 Definition of solution sets for each climate/cultural context
Task 4.8 Business models for Plus Energy Houses and exploitation plan

Work package 5 - Co-benefits of Plus Energy Houses
Task 5.1 Redefinition of comfort zone (IEQ parameters) for each climate-cultural cluster
Task 5.2 Estimation of co-benefits associated with plus energy buildings at user level
Task 5.3 Estimation of co-benefits associated with plus energy buildings at community level
Task 5.4 System operation choices and increased costs

Work package 6 - Plus Energy Houses demonstration
Task 6.1 Establishment of LDWG-Local Demo Case Working Group
Task 6.2 Design strategy and tailoring of solution set to each demo-case
Task 6.3 Life cycle cost assessment of demo case designs
Task 6.4 Construction work procurement and implementation
Task 6.5 Commissioning, measurement & verification, Post Occupancy Evaluation
Task 6.6 Lesson learned on Plus Energy Houses design

Work package 7 - Communication and dissemination
Task 7.1 Dissemination and Communication Plan
Task 7.2 Visual identity
Task 7.3 Website and social media
Task 7.4 Offline and online promotional material
Task 7.5 Dialogue with the professionals and the scientific community
Task 7.6 Communication towards the general public

Il target nZEB negli edifici pubblici: una guida passo per passo
Paoletti G, Leghissa G (2021)
Journal article
Casa & Clima

More information: ...

The use of ceiling fans in reverse-flow mode for comfort cooling: physiological aspects and relationship with international standards
Babich F, Pasut W, Belleri A (2021)
Conference proceedings article

Conference: ASHRAE virtual annual conference | online | 28.7.2021 - 30.7.2021

Costruire case di nuova generazione pensando agli utenti (e alle loro abitudini)
Blandino G (2019)

More information: ...

Stiftelsen Sintef
Brunel University - West London
Steinbeis Europa Zentrum
University of Stuttgart
Cá Foscari University of Venice
EuroFinestra SAS
Advantic Sistemas y Servicios SL
Istituto Cooperativo per l'Innovazione SCRL
Vilogia SA
Ventive Ltd.
Unicoop Immobiliare S.r.l.
Oslo Kommune
Wilhelm Nusser GmbH Systembau
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Spain SL
Vortice Elettrosociali Spa
ABITCOOP - Cooperativa di Abitazione della Provincia di Modena
Paulus Wohnbau GmbH
Conseil des Architectes d'Europe
NOBATEK/INEF4 - Institute for Energy and Environmental Transition in Construction
Wohnbau Studio
Baerum Municipality


Annamaria Belleri

Project managerT 856 550 1740 93+ude.carue@irelleb.airamanna

Roberto Lollini

Vice project managerT 056 550 1740 93+ude.carue@inillol.otrebor

Marco Bailo

Project assistantT 927 550 1740 93+ude.carue@oliab.ocram


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Eurac Research is a private research center based in Bolzano (South Tyrol) with researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields who come from all over the globe. Together, through scientific knowledge and research, they share the goal of shaping the future.

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Our research addresses the greatest challenges facing us in the future: people need health, energy, well-functioning political and social systems and an intact environment. These are complex questions, and we are seeking the answers in the interaction between many different disciplines. In so doing, our research work embraces three major themes: regions fit for living in, diversity as a life-enhancing feature, a healthy society.

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