Barriers and drivers to the uptake of innovative, affordable, and zero-energy dwellings in Belgium and Ireland

C. Souaid*, H. M.H. Van Der Heijden, M. G. Elsinga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Despite efforts to promote and accelerate the adoption of innovative, affordable, and zero-energy dwelling solutions, the number of dwellings complying with standards such as the EPBD remains relatively low as we reach year 2020. Studies have already explored potential challenges and opportunities to the uptake of such designs. However, despite previous findings and recommendations, the market's response remains slow. Building on existing knowledge and as part of the Housing 4.0 Energy project, this study investigates current financial, cultural, legislative and technical barriers and drivers to the implementation and uptake of small, innovative, affordable, zero-energy dwellings in small towns in Belgium and Ireland. Focus groups gathering housing providers, decision makers, stakeholders, and contractors were conducted in Leuven and Kilkenny. Outcomes revealed that participants' general perceptions around barriers and drivers are similar between the two countries and are validated by previous research findings. However, a closer look at context specific barriers reveals considerable differences. The identification of these contextual differences enables a better apprehension of the current situation in every location leading to the formulation of context specific recommendations and a better allocation of precedence. Thus, this paper demonstrates the importance of context specific investigations not only in the identification of challenges to energy efficiency innovations but also in establishing more effective implementations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032017
Number of pages8
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventWorld Sustainable Built Environment - Beyond 2020, WSBE 2020 - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 2 Nov 20204 Nov 2020


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