Driving decarbonization of the EU building stock by enhancing a consumer centred and locally based circular renovation process (Drive 0)

Drive 0 is an international project co-funded by the by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 programme (H2020-LC-SC3-EE-1-2018, Decarbonisation of the EU building stock: innovative approaches and affordable solutions changing the market for buildings renovation).


In order to achieve the climate goals of decarbonisation, almost all existing buildings in the EU need to be renovated by 2050 and by 2021, all new buildings will have to be nearly zero-energy (NZEB). Effective CO2 reduction is key to the renewal process, and as few raw materials as possible should be used due to the lack of raw materials. Energy and raw materials are also used in the renovation of buildings – so there is a risk that CO2 emissions from building of new technologies and building envelope will exceed the life-cycle energy savings provided by a deep retrofit. The latter currently focuses only on the energy required for the operation of the building and not on the built-in energy and materials.


The overall aim of Drive 0 is to speed up the deep and circular renovation process. How will we achieve this? By improving a customer-centred circular renovation process. In that way, we will make the deep and circular renovation process more attractive for consumers and investors, environmentally friendly and cost effective. Partners will identify key local actors and drivers interested in circular retrofit, and will use anthropological approaches to encourage building occupants to make decisions about deep retrofits. Renovation will be people-oriented and environmentally responsible in terms of (local) raw materials, notably through approaches of e.g. urban mining and raw material banks.

We will improve the circular renovation process in 4 main elements and steps:

  1. Use of already developed products and concepts for holistic retrofits from EU projects (e.g. https://www.progetone.eu/, www.more-connect.eu/), based on locally available material and components, including those from existing buildings.
  2. Development of attractive, people-centred business models based on circular retrofits with the support of digitization and gamification.
  3. Provide attractive and understandable information to building users about the performance of buildings.
  4. Demonstrate to relevant stakeholders the operational characteristics of the DRIVE 0 solution with local demonstration cases involving local businesses and specifics.

What does this mean in practice? In the Slovenian demonstration case led by Knauf Insulation Slovenia, we will upgrade circularity by promoting increased recycling and reuse of used stone wool for the production of new stone wool. We are also introducing mineral wool, manufactured using an innovative technology called Ecose® Technology, which uses plant-based binders and mineral-based mineral fiber insulation solutions instead of the traditional phenol-formaldehyde binder. This will contribute to the reduction of emissions of harmful substances in production, and will also reduce their release during the lifetime of stone wool. Thus, buildings will have significantly lower releases of volatile organic matter, which will result in better quality of the living environment.


  • Objective 1: To make the deep renovation process more attractive, environmentally friendly, faster and cost effective for end-users by combining circularity, product innovation and process innovation.
  • Objective 2: To provide consumers and potential investors of deep renovation projects with attractive and understandable information of real total life-cycle performances (energy use, indoor environment and well-being).
  • Objective 3: To demonstrate circular renovation solutions in combination with local drivers in live study and demonstration cases.
  • Objective 4: To foster new consumer-centred business models for circular renovation concepts.
  • Objective 5: To roll out the DRIVE 0 concept on a wider European scale by mobilizing European interest groups and umbrella organizations.

Project partners

Project duration

  • 1. 10. 2019 – 30. 9. 2023 (48 months)

Total eligible costs

  • 4,738,908.75 €

Drive 0 leaflet

Related content:

Project website and social media:

Contact at IRI UL