ENvelope meSh aNd digitAl framework for building REnovation

Why Ensnare?

The building sector is one of the main contributors to GHG emissions, being 40% of the energy consumption in the EU associated with building needs, mainly for heating, cooling and domestic hot water purposes. In order to achieve 2050 decarbonisation goals, significant increase in the low renovation rates is needed. ENSNARE provides a systemic methodology combining products, systems and solutions that will facilitate and boost the adoption of novel and advanced technologies during renovation


The building envelope is a fundamental element since typically at least 75% of heat losses occur through the envelope comprising façade, roof and windows. Therefore, improving the envelope represents the basic requirement when undergoing a renovation project and, to achieve NZEB targets, advanced functionalities are required for this element that should go beyond current passive thermal barrier to become an active element (integrating energy harvesting, storage and distribution technologies).


This improved renovation process must leverage advances in ICT, digitalization, automation  and robotics of industry to overcome the lack of a comprehensive approach to encompass current technologies and to facilitate communication between potential users and technology developers.


ENSNARE will boost the uptake of novel and highly efficient solutions for NZEB renovation via comprehensive methodology, tools and technologies that will accelerate the current renovation rate.

About Ensnare

The main goal of the ENSNARE project is to boost the implementation of NZEB renovation packages in Europe, with a focus on residential buildings. To accomplish this objective, the project develops two main technologies: Building components and digital solutions. The deployment of these two is founded in two key structures developed within ENSNARE: (see Figure):

  1. Envelope mesh, fully modular and based on industrialized principles, enables fast assembly and interconnection of all components and energy/data networks, including technologies for energy harvesting, storage and distribution. 
  2. Digital platform provides a framework to stakeholders with a clear structure and access to a wide range of technologies for deep renovation of buildings. It supports all stages of the renovation, from early decision making and data acquisition to the manufacturing, construction, and the operation and maintenance of the implemented system. The platform makes use of a digital toolbox (i.e., modular tools) closely linked to a digital model of the buildings, which in its final stage become a Digital Twin allowing real-time control, simulation and operation of all building components.


Within a comprehensive systemic approach and the above 2 pillars, the project will develop:

  • Modular adaptable components to be integrated within the system, including an active window for ventilation and heat recovery, solar harvesting devices (thermal collectors, PV and hybrid panels with advanced technologies such as roll-bonding), heat pumps and energy batteries for load shifting. 
  • A set of digital tools that will connect to the digital platform to support and accelerate all stages for a more efficient and automated  renovation process: automated data acquisition, LCA/LCC analysis and decision support, digital BIM model building and computer-assisted manufacturing (CAM), and a smart building management system (sBMS) for optimised operation and maintenance. 
  • Digital Twin that starts as a simplified digital model and increases in complexity and interaction potentialities as the project develops. At completion, the model becomes a Digital Twin of the renovated building allowing real-time monitorization, simulation and optimised operation of all building components.  


Our Identity. Logotype and acronym

Our logo is composed of a modular envelope represented by the main body of the graphic which is defragmented, representing the digitization process of the information, this logo reading can also be done in reverse, where the digital fragments are reconstituted in the modular envelope. On the other hand, at the bottom, we can find the ENSNARE acronym built from the title of the project ENvelope meSh aNd digitAl framework for building REnovation “ENSNARE”.

In the English language, the word “ensnare” is a verb that means “to catch or control something or someone”. In line with this and the fact that one of the main objectives of the project is to develop an envelope mesh capable of “ensnare” information on the energy behavior of the building.

Who we are?

ENSNARE is Horizon 2020 EU funded project carried out by 19 partners from 12 European countries: 11 SMEs, 5 institutes of research, 2 Corporation, 1 public body.


The ENSNARE solution will be validated through 3 pilot renovation projects covering Nordic, Continental and Mediterranean climates, and 3 virtual demonstration buildings aimed at upscaling the development of the solution. These demonstrators have been selected to show the replication possibilities of the project, mostly in terms on advanced and improved retrofitting activities. The buildings have been chosen to represent the largest European construction residential market in different climatic conditions (Estonia, Bulgaria and Italy for Demos and UK, Italy and Netherland for the virtual ones) and different architectural implementations. The adoption of different seized buildings (~ 500 m2, ~ 1000m2 and ~ 3000m2) to be renovated with a different level of previous energy consumption level (80 – 200 kWhm2) allows to test and scale up procedures aiming to provide relevant inputs to study the industrialization, mass production and economy of scale based measurements to be adopted.

Demo buildings

Tartu, Estonia

Public residential, 10 dwellings , 2 floors.

Tartu pilot is a wooden-frame public building, originally built in 1947, situated in the North-East of Tartu in Annelinn district. The pilot is a 2-storey residential building used as a rehabilitation center for the ex-convicts. The goal for Tartu is to fully renovate the facility to provide a higher level of services and living conditions for men and women re-entering the society. The center will house up to 15 dwellings for 30 people after renovation, including a security room, staff room, a meeting and service room and laundry room. Technical features include a façade of 442 m2, 26 windows, natural gas HVAC, double-glazed plastic frame windows and subpar air tightness. The building will be renovated into near-zero energy building to minimize the building running costs for the NGO providing the social transition service for the inhabitants and the city.

Sofia, Bulgaria

Residential, 6 dwellings, 4 floors

The demo-site is masonry-structured two-floors multi-family apartment building that was completed in 1974. In 2004, a total renovation was conducted and a new part was added to the building. It has been continuously inhabited throughout its whole lifespan, currently, by four families. The building had been designed to have a total of 6 apartments on 4 levels, 2 on each floor. Throughout the years, some of them have been combined into separate habitations. Total floor area is approximately 560 m2. Additionally, there is a heated semi-basement, an open terrace on the last floor, connected to the central staircase. The roof is mostly flat and exposed façades oriented towards South-East and South-west. The total area of the facade is 471 m2. The building has a total of 42 windows, a 10-kW Heat Pump and  PV system . The average annual energy consumption of 80-100 kWh/y (all electric including heating and DHW) .

L'Aquila, Italy

Residential, 2 dwellings, 2 floors.

This 1978 building has a masonry load bearing structure and a wooden or side-cement roof, with a 772 m2 façade has 46 windows (14 Window/Wall Ratio). This 1500 m2 floor area building has a class G energy certification, gas boiler and consumption exceeding 8000 kWh gas and 22000 kWh electricity. The building will become a nursing home for elderly.

Virtual buildings

Glasgow, UK

Office, 2 floors


The Helix Building is an office building with a total surface of 1445 m2 and a concrete facade total surface of 2448 m2. It has 52 windows and a window-to-wall ratio of 16%. Heating is delivered via a LTHW boiler with a seasonal efficiency of 0.95. Ventilation is provided via natural ventilation, except 2 spaces that have mechanical supply and 3 spaces that have mechanical exhaust. No on-site RES is present.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Residential and commercial, 4 floors, 30 dwellings 

This is a 1985 mixed used building with a commercial area on the ground floor and apartments on the above 3 floors. It has a total facade area of 1950 m2, 442 windows and an elevated 38% window-to-wall ratio. The building has concrete walls and slab with double glass aluminum frame windows. Heating consumption accounted for 150 kWh/m2y, while electricity consumption accounted for 289 kWh/m2y.

Milan, Italy

Residential, 36 dwellings, 13 floors.

This 1972 high-rise apartment building has a 3706 m2 floor area and 245 windows with a window area of 547 m2. It has a ventilated brick wall structure and uses gas for heating and DHW with 22,000 kWh/y gas consumption and electricity for the rest with 410,000 kWh/y electricity consumption. It was refurbished in 2020 with additional insulation and thermovalves in all apartments.

Expected Results

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The leading private, independent, nonprofit research and technology center in Spain, also one of the largest in Europe, employing around 1,450 people (18% PhD) and with a yearly income above 110 Million €. The main GOAL is: to transform technology into GDP, meaning to improve people’s quality of life through generation of business opportunities for industry.


CiviESCo is the Energy Service Company of People’s Bank of Cividale (Banca Popolare di Cividale) and it is considered its Green Economy Division since 2016.

TRESPA International

Trespa International B.V. is a leading innovator in the field of architectural materials, recognised internationally as a premier developer of high quality panels for exterior cladding, decorative façades, and scientific surface solutions.


Riventi Structural Facades is a company dedicated to the development, manufacture and installation of systems for curtain walls and singular facades. Riventi is in charge of the calculation, prototyping and on-site assembly of all its solutions.


ES believe that every building of every city in the world can be decarbonised. Our purpose is developing the technology to make that happen. Our ultimate aim is to create a built environment that is resource and energy efficient. Eliminating global reliance on fossil fuels and promoting comfort, health and wellbeing, and fairer access to energy for every citizen in the world.

Onyx Solar

Onyx Solar is the world’s leading manufacturer of transparent photovoltaic (PV) glass for buildings. Founded in Ávila (Spain) in 2009 with a global presence, including offices in Spain, New York and China and sales and distribution networks around the world. Onyx Solar uses PV Glass as a constructive material as well as an electricity-generating material, with the aim of capturing the sunlight and turn it into electricity, enhancing the building both aesthetically and energetically. The PV glass could be installed replacing conventional glass on building facades, curtain walls, atriums, canopies and terrace floors, among other architectural applications.


The entity of OTH participating in the project is the BUILDING LAB, a unique centre for digital transformation and technology utilisation in construction that spans across a broad range of sub-domains such as automation and robotics in construction, digital construction engineering , BIM2Field, BIM2Robot, AI and digital twins, digitalisation in infrastructure and road construction, digitalisation/automation of construction machines, parametric engineering and design-to-production, digitalisation of craft trades, digitally driven material science, and 3D-printing for circular construction, construction informatics, design and robotics, smart cities, and ambient assisted living.


ABUD is an SME company based in Budapest, Hungary,  specialized in consultancy and R&D in the field of sustainable building and urban design for government and municipal stakeholders, architectural studios and engineers, contractors and operators, investors and developers from the conceptual planning phase to the realisation of a project, from the scale of a detached house to urban concepts, from building envelope to smart city strategies. As a design methodology, ABUD follows Integrated Design Process (IDP) in each project. Within ENSNARE ABUD is primarily focusing on the methodology and validation of the digitization processes and simulations for three different climatic environments.


Envolventes Arquitectónicas ENAR SLP is a technological facade consultancy and a professional limited company registered at COAM (Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid) with no. 70817


CAMEL (www.camel-solar.com ) is in the bussiness of solar energy utilisation, research and development as well as its application for 8 years. By now, Kamel developed several types of flat plate collectors, vacuum tubes collectors, facade collectors, window modules and novel types of PVT collectors and systems. Kamel participated in three FP7 projects and conducted several national projects.The team of Kamel consists of 2 scientists, 3 engineers and technicians. Based on the newest welding technology for absorbers manufactured by Camel Solar they are implemented in all of its products. The products are characterized with an excellent quality, with high performance and with the highest ccoefficient of efficiency in their branches. The novel absorbers welding approach on backside with three “omega” welding lines allows better heat transfer, the humidity issues are overcome, long term of stability because of non destroying of optical selective coating and from the architectural aspect the building will have a facade as colored window glasses. The vacuum tube collectors with patented absorber inside vacuum tube glasses also allow high efficiency and long-term stability. Kamel Solar has big experience with integration of solar thermal collectors in facades and roofs especially from an architectural point of view.

One Click LCA

One Click LCA is the world-leading construction sector life-cycle assessment software. It is used to decarbonize building and infrastructure projects, to create Environmental Product Declarations and to design low-carbon products and to manage and create corporate or real estate portfolio greenhouse gas reports. It is used in more than a 100 countries, includes the world’s largest construction sector database, integrates with over a dozen design tools and supports over 40 standards and certifications. Bionova Ltd is the developer of One Click LCA. Founded in 2001 as a consulting firm, Bionova launched One Click LCA in 2011 and now grows to employ over 50 professionals in nine countries.

R2M Solution Spain

R2M Solution Spain SL. is an integrated and multi-disciplinary entrepreneurial innovation company that aggressively targets filling the gap between research activities and market implementation across the fields of Innovation, Engineering, Energy Services & Sustainability and ICT/Automation. R2M is a strategic innovator itself and as part of its business model helps organizations and projects plan and execute the strategic use research funding carried out over a comprehensive development strategy from idea to market. In doing so, R2M provides leadership, links high performance exploitation-oriented networks, and leverages public and private funding instruments.


Tartu is the second largest city in Estonia.  The population of Tartu is around 100,000 people.Tartu is the education city of Estonia having 15 higher education institutions including Tartu University established in 1632. Tartu is considered to be most livable city in Estonia. Tartu has been at the forefront of sustainability in Estonia with the most ambitious environmental and sustainability goals. Having started producing heat from sustainable sources since 2009 and having public transportation running on sustainable energy including the first electric bike share system in the Baltic States.

Balkanika Energy

Balkanika Energy specializes in Energy Efficiency activities with strong background in the production and utilization of energy from renewable, conventional and alternative sources, protection of the environment through sustainable systems for the utilization of waste.


COAF srl is a company established in 1980 operating in the construction sector and in the energy efficiency of buildings as ESCo. COAF srl is specialized in the seismic and energy retrofit of buildings through advanced innovative techniques, being involved since 2009 in the post-earthquake reconstruction works after Aquila earthquake.

TU Delft

TU Delft (1842) is the largest technical university in The Netherlands, while the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, established in 1904, has a leading role in the area of architecture education and research in the broadest sense, being currently ranked #3 worldwide. The research group on Architectural Facades & Products represents TU Delft within the ENSNARE consortium, sharing its research expertise in multifunctional façade construction, refurbishment processes, novel manufacturing technologies, and product service systems.

Technical University of Munich

Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe’s top universities, which is committed to excellence in research and teaching, interdisciplinary education and the active promotion of promising young scientists.  The Chair of Building Realization and Robotics researches, teaches, and consults in the field of construction automation with a particular focus on the application of specialized machine technology, automation technology, and robot technology in component manufacturing, prefabrication, and on-site construction.

University of Padova

The University of Padova is a top ranked Italian University, one of the oldest universities in the world. It currently has 13 schools covering a wide range of topics and an enrolment of about 65000 students. In ENSNARE, the Department of Industrial Engineering-DII, assisted by UniSMART Fondazione Università di Padova, is involved. The Department promotes and manages scientific and technological research projects in all fields of industrial engineering.


Nobatek/INEF4 is a French private non-profit technological research centre and the National Institute for the Energy Transition working to promote innovation in sustainable construction and Energy Efficiency in building technology, architecture and urban planning. Nobatek/INEF4 will bring its expertise in building energy simulation, monitoring and data processing to the ENSNARE project.