Kick-Off Meeting at the SLU Campus on January 18, 2024 in Uppsala, Sweden

BIOBUILD is a new EU-funded project recently launched with a budget of €4.6 million to develop innovative strategies towards fully bio-based building materials with thermal energy storage function. BIOBUILD will have a significant impact on the construction industry as it seeks to replace fossil-based materials with bio-composites and reduce energy consumption in buildings.

Currently, buildings in Europe account for 40% of energy use and about 95% of the binders used in wood-fiber composites are fossil-derived. Non-biobased materials (e.g. bricks, concrete, plastic, gypsum, glass and rock wool) have high environmental footprints, limited recycling possibilities and should be replaced with bio-based, sustainable materials.

BIOBUILD, funded by the Horizon Europe programme (under the REA – European Research Executive Agency), will focus on the use of bio-composites to develop non-toxic and zero-pollution building materials with an energy storage functionality. It will incorporate bio-based phase change materials (bioPCM) into solid wood and fibers bound by plant oil resins, lignin, or fungal mycelium. The products will be fully recyclable and sustainable without toxic compounds.

BIOBUILD will develop and showcase prototype wood construction buildings with integrated novel wallboards and parquet as well as evaluate the energy saving performance in Sweden and Spain. With the integration of bioPCM in flooring and wall structures, BIOBUILD aims to reduce up to 20% of energy demand in buildings located in different climates from Northern to Southern Europe.

BIOBUILD is going to be one step towards green buildings; An effort for green future

The transition towards climate neutrality as set out in the European Green Deal (EGD) calls for innovative and rapid changes. The BIOBUILD project will pave the way to further achieve the EGD goals and speed up innovation in buildings, contributing to a wider use of bio-based materials and expanding the bio-based market to benefit civil society and the environment. The sustainable bio-based materials and technologies will potentially contribute to the imminent transition to decarbonization in major industrial sectors.

BIOBUILD’s project journey will last four years and aims to achieve the following main objectives:

  • Incorporate the bioPCMs into the cells of solid wood, virgin and recycled wood fibres by impregnation and in addition optimize the bioPCMs uptake to eliminate leaching;
  • Develop and manufacture three bio-binders for wood fibre-bioPCM composites using a) polymerizable plant oils, b) lignin, and c) fungal mycelia;
  • Demonstrate the above technologies by production of wood fiber-bioPCM composites as building material (wallboards) and wood flooring (parquet) with improved thermal performance;
  • Demonstrate wood construction prototype buildings with integrated novel wallboards and parquet and evaluate the energy-saving performance in Sweden and Spain;
  • Employ ex-ante life cycle assessment (LCA) for each product and investigate long-term recyclability to ensure that the materials meet improved sustainability, circularity, and safety standards;
  • Engage in clustering activities with other European projects and initiatives of relevance;
  • Determine the industrial, environmental, social and economic challenges and benefits of the new technologies to facilitate their market uptake and transferability to other bio-based materials.

The kick-off meeting for the BIOBUILD project took place from the 17th to 19th January in Uppsala, Sweden at the coordinator’s headquarters, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). The project is coordinated by the Division of Wood Science and Technology, the Department of Biomaterials and Technology at SLU.

The consortium consists of 13 partners from 6 EU member states and the UK as Associated Partner, funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK:

  1. Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet (Sweden)
  2. Universiteit Antwerpen (Belgium)
  3. Universitaet Fuer Bodenkultur Wien (Austria)
  4. Universidad de Lleida (Spain)
  5. Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)
  6. MOGU SRL (Italy)
  7. Pervanovo Invest AB (Sweden)
  8. Universita Degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
  9. RTDS Association (Austria)
  10. Extrahuset Sweden AB (Sweden)
  11. Byggelit Sverige AB (Sweden)
  12. Asociatia de Standardizare Din Romania (Romania)
  13. Phase Change Material Products LTD (UK)
  14. Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC) (Spain)

During this meeting, partners presented and discussed their work packages that serve as the foundational basis of this ground-breaking innovative project.

In the coming months, BIOBUILD will be launching its website, newsletter and open its networks to industry partners and researchers! Follow BIOBUILD on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates!

More information on BIOBUILD:

BIOBUILD Factsheet – European Commission (CORDIS)