The European GreenConServe project: supporting service innovations to improve the environmental performances of construction

The digital model, a tool for innovation in building activity

The goal of GreenConServe is to accelerate the development of innovative services that would make the construction industry more sustainable through the design and implementation of a dedicated support package. This package contains funding in form of “innovation vouchers” as well as expertise from technical centres and innovation consultants.

The “innovation voucher” is a new funding scheme that allows SMEs to “buy” the technical or business expertise they need to validate a new service idea with the help of a technical centre or a consultant. Innovation vouchers are faster and easier to get than traditional public funding support: applicants must only fill in two pages and wait for two weeks after their project has been selected by an ad’hoc committee to get their individual expert.
OSEO, the French national agency supporting innovation, will provide innovation vouchers worth up to 15,000 € each to SMEs that plan to develop innovative service.

In this context, this European project is targeting all innovative small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) developping service innovations that would improve the environmental performances of the construction activity. Eligible SMEs include building contractors, craftsmen, architects, economists, manufacturers, etc.
CSTB will take part in GreeConServe at an early stage during information and training sessions that will help SMEs to define their project and refine their application to make a presentation in response to calls for projects issued by OSEO during the GreenConServe project.
Service innovations may for instance concern:

  • Optimisation, design, construction, operation and renovation of structures (e.g. services making use of possibilities provided by a building information model
  • Approaches in terms of cost of the building life cycle (e.g. a service to optimise technical choices regarding environmental objectives, embodied energy, carbon balance, indoor air quality, etc.)
  • Better management of building sites (e.g. services using the capabilities of an internet document management platform designed particularly for building sites)
  • Reduction of the environmental and health impact (e.g. services related to measurement and monitoring of air quality inside buildings)
  • Improved energy efficiency (e.g. services to optimise energy consumption based on remote control of energy consuming equipments in buildings (HVAC, lighting...)).

The first call for projects was opened on 26 April 2010 for a period of 12 months.  A first status report will be made after one year.

Why a European project ?

The GreenConServe project, supported by the European Commission (Enterprise and Industry General Directorate) and gathering 13 European partners, is coordinated by Greenovate! Europe, a European group of eco-innovation experts, represented in France by Technofi, specialised in innovative project management. This project helps reducing the carbon impact of our country in the context of the commitments made within the European Union for 2020. GreenConServe links ten European partners from five countries (Germany, Belgium, France, Norway and Poland). European partners meet regularly to discuss their different approaches and to benchmark practices adopted in neighbouring countries.