About BIOBUILD

BIOBUILD is a Horizon Europe project that aims to provide thermal solutions for energy efficiency in buildings through fully bio-based building materials. The project is replacing fossil-based materials with new, non-toxic and sustainable building materials additionally optimised towards thermal energy storage. 

BIOBUILD OBJECTIVES

The BIOBUILD project aims at decreasing energy consumption up to 20% in buildings while retaining strength, improving durability and sound insulation properties of the bio-composite building materials. The “lightweight” materials are composed of over 95% sustainable and bio-based compounds. The wood construction protype buildings with novel wallboards and parquets will be demonstrated in Spain and Sweden.

Incorporate bioPCMs into solid wood and recycled wood particles and fibers

Produce three bio-binders using plant oils resins, lignin and fungal mycelia

Demonstrate and validate at TRL 7 the BIOBUILD concept

Use the technologies developed to design and build four houses in Sweden and Spain

Evaluate energy-saving performance of house prototypes with integrated wallboards and parquet flooring

Employ ex-ante life cycle assessment for each product and explore long-term recyclability

The BIOBUILD Concept

Challenge

The impact of fossil fuels on energy consumption in buildings highlights the urgency to transition to renewable energy sources and sustainable construction practices. In most EU countries, buildings account for 40% of energy use, 36% of greenhouse emissions and about 95% of the binders used in wood-fibre composites are fossil derived.

Fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas have traditionally been the primary sources of energy for heating, cooling, and electricity generation in buildings. Additionally, non-biobased materials such as bricks, concrete, plastic and glass have high environmental footprints and limited recycling possibilities. Their widespread use contributes significantly to overall energy consumption.

The construction industry is urged to develop new sustainable and innovative strategies towards fully bio-based materials that are free from toxic chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These materials must also be cost-effective and volatile to replace traditional materials with high environmental footprints.

As part of the new changes in the EU legislation, all buildings must be carbon neutral by 2030, transitioning to fully energy efficient buildings. In aims of implementing the European Green Deal (EGD), by 2027, all new public buildings must achieve coal-for-heating neutrality and improve information on energy performance. Energy consumption should also be reduced by at least 11.7% at EU level. Accordingly, decreasing energy consumption and developing cleaner energy sources are key to reaching the EU’s climate goals and reducing its dependency on imports from non-EU countries.

Solution

While the concept and transition to a sustainable bio-based economy is insufficiently established within the European building sector, BIOBUILD is paving the way towards green buildings with improved thermal performance.

BIOBUILD focuses on bio-composites as environmentally friendly building materials with additional functionalities for energy storage. This innovative approach will integrate bioPCMs into solid wood and fibers bound together by plant oil resins, lignin and fungal mycelium. The BIOBUILD project will design and showcase protype wooden houses with innovative wallboards and parquet and evaluate energy saving performance as well as recyclability in Sweden and Spain.

Thermal Solutions

BIOBUILD integrates innovative, cutting-edge technology and materials to optimise energy efficiency and thermal energy storage in buildings. The optimal thermal solutions employed by the BIOBUILD project is the incorporation of bio-phase change materials (bioPCMs) into bio-based building materials such as wallboards and flooring.

What are bioPCMs?

Phase change materials (PCMs) are substances that can store and release large amounts of thermal energy during the process of changing phase at specific temperatures. Bio-PCMs are derived from renewable, bio-based sources, such as plant oils, fatty acids, or carbohydrates, as opposed to traditional PCMs which are often derived from fossil-based sources.

BIOBUILD works with a UK partner, PCMP Ltd.  that offers the most comprehensive range of PCM solutions currently available commercially (-100°C to +885°C).

Why bioPCM?

BioPCMs have the ability to absorb and release thermal energy as they change phase from solid to liquid and vice versa. By impregnating bioPCMs into building materials, BIOBUILD enhances the thermal mass of structures, enabling them to effectively store and regulate heat. During periods of excess heat, bioPCMs absorb and store thermal energy, helping to stabilise indoor temperatures and reduce reliance on heating and cooling systems. Conversely, when temperature drops, the bioPCMs release stored energy, providing passive heating and improving overall energy efficiency.

The project explores advanced composite materials and techniques to efficiently use the thermal energy and improve thermal performance. This includes the use of sustainable lightweight materials such as wood fibers and recyclable materials which offer enhanced thermal properties compared to the traditional building materials.

BIOBUILD’s thermal solutions prioritise comfort and well-being. By regulating indoor temperatures and reducing temperature fluctuations, these solutions create a more comfortable and stable indoor environment, promoting productivity, health and overall satisfaction among residents.

Impact

BIOBUILD will have positive environmental and socio-economic impacts by strengthening and expanding the bio-based economy. The project will focus on innovative and sustainable building materials for thermal energy storage with bioPCMs while having a substantially smaller environmental footprints. The project is expected to have :

 

        • Reduced environmental footprint and maximised resource efficiency in the construction industry
        • Improved thermal comfort of occupants and up to 20% reduction of energy demand
        • Wider use of bio-based materials in buildings
        • Expanded use and re-use of wood-based products
        • Increased use of innovative, sustainable and formaldehyde-free binders
        • Decreased use and dependance on fossil-based products in construction