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ARV is a H2020 EU-funded project aiming at creating climate positive circular communities in Europe and increasing the building renovation rate in the continent. We started our work in January 2022.

By the way ARV, is the Norwegian word for “heritage” or “legacy”.
Who are we?
The overall aim of the EU-funded ARV project is to demonstrate and validate attractive, resilient, and affordable solutions that significantly speed-up deep energy renovations and deployment of energy and climate measures in the construction and energy industries. The project is working towards the implementation of climate-positive circular communities in Europe, focusing on net zero-emission buildings and neighbourhoods. ARV will provide guidelines and a policy framework for future energy-efficient, circular, and digital solutions in the construction industry.

The ARV project consists of 35 partners from 8 countries in Europe, and is coordinated by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The project started in January 2021, and will last for 4 years. At the core of the project are six large-scale demonstration projects located in six European cities, showcasing a range of innovations related to the whole value chain of the industry. Please visit our website to find out more.
Demos under the spotlight
The Netherlands
The Dutch demo case consists of two clusters of social housing buildings in the Overvecht-Noord district and the Kanaleneiland-Zuid district in the city of Utrecht.

ARV technologies and innovations to be applied include:
  • Industrial prefabricated modular component integrating construction, energy and climate installations
  • Design and implement Inside Out 2.0​
  • Smart building control optimization
  • Social renovation
For more information and technical details, please visit the Dutch demo case page.

The Spanish demo case is the Llevant Innovation District in Palma de Mallorca.

ARV technologies and innovations to be applied:
  • District energy simulation tool
  • Community engagement and well-being
  • Sustainable building (re)design
  • Resource efficient construction workflow
  • Efficient operation and flexibility
  • Business models and financial instruments
For more information and technical details, please visit the Spanish demo case page.
ARV visit to the Utrecht Demonstration Buildings

In March 2022, the ARV consortium had the chance to visit the Dutch demonstration buildings of the project. They consists of two clusters of social housing buildings in the Overvecht-Noord district and the Kanaleneiland-Zuid district in the city of Utrecht.

Both districts were built in the 1960s and 1970s to account for the quick rise in urban population and are in general of low-quality. Both districts share the characteristics of lively multi-cultural districts, with a high share of social housing, schools and shops. The residential areas are densely populated districts, home to a majority of low-income households. Both districts have a triple energy infrastructure: a district heating network, gas infrastructure for home-boilers and an electricity grid.

The demonstration actions that will be undertaken by the ARV project are the resource-efficient, systematic retrofitting of 8 residential apartment buildings from the 1960s into Positive Energy Buildings embedded in a green neighbourhood, with a global area of 63 600 m2​.

To know more, watch the video on our YouTube channel and visit the dedicated page.

Project partners gathered to Palma de Mallorca 

Six months after the start of the project, partners have come together for the first in-person meeting. This represented a great opportunity to discuss the progress made so far, for everyone to better understand the tasks of all the partners, to discuss best practices and strategies, and of course to visit the Spanish building, as one of the six demonstration cases. 

What is happening in ARV
The Czech demo, includes the renovation of an existing health care centre in the city of Karvina. The partners are currently working on documentation of different stages of the building retrofitting, such as for the installation of a green roof, swappable facades, photovoltaic systems, and efficient HVAC systems.

The Danish demo aims at renovating 19 housing blocks with 432 apartments. In terms of progress, the implementation of the new technologies is planned to start in the second half of 2022.

The Italian demo is structured in four dimensions: new constructions, that will be replicated in case the tested solutions prove to be efficient; renovation of existing buildings; and the development of an energy geostructure through a road tunnel. An important process that is closely monitored is stakeholder and community engagement.

The Dutch demo is running last checks before starting to implement technologies like HVAC containers or Building Integrated Photovoltaics elements. 

The Norwegian demo includes the renovation of a listed building to nZEB standard, as well as a new school building, cultural and dance hall, and rehearsal space to be constructed to plus energy standards.

Discovering the Spanish demo case
The partners were able to visit the demo in real life. The demo is a large municipal initiative involving one of the most vulnerable districts in Palma. There is a solid citizen engagement plan and the schools and social centres in the neighbourhood are involved.
Most residential units are private today, although they were public in the beginning. IBAVI is constructing a public building within the neighbourhood with their signature local materials: local sandstone and Posidonia insulation. A factor taken into consideration is the rise in the cost for the construction materials. There is a strong awareness of the need to impact the socio-economic conditions of the demos, besides the physical and technological work.

ARV inspires innovation
The partners had the chance to participate in several workshops, revolving around key elements. 

'Assessment Framework and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Impact Assessment' presented the proposed indicators and framework to assess Urban Renovation interventions, as well as the pathways to monitor and evaluate them.

For the session on 'Integrated Circular Design Guidelines', the goal was to identify best circular design practices and strategies and discuss the challenges and driving factors in the design process. 

The 'Forecasting, Digitalization Hub, and Data Lake' workshop focused on the data provided by the demo sites and the forecasting services they need, including the data hosting and facilitating the data access to the ARV partners.

Exploring AR as a tool for citizen engagement

ARV aims to communicate results of different scenarios to facilitate citizen engagement. A tool was developed to explore the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and/or Augmented Reality (AR). The AR/VR environments that will be developed for this task are an integral part of the Living Labs methodology and will be available for the demos of Oslo and Palma.

The mobile augmented reality (AR) application for citizen participation in urban and architectural planning has been developed for the demo at Voldsløkka, Oslo. By using just a mobile phone and augmented reality visualization, users can better understand and engage with realistic 3D models of future buildings on-site and provide immediate feedback. This is a less costly and more user-friendly engagement solution.

The application allows changing building elements such as solar cell panels, façade canvas, materials of the walls, glazing, and introduce outside elements such as urban furniture, trees and plants. You can see two video demonstrations that took place in Norway, in Trondheim and at the Oslo demo site, Voldsløkka.

The AR application was developed as a part of a thesis by the Master students Olav Håberg Dimmen and Andreas Oksvold from NTNU in close cooperation with SINTEF. For any inquiries, feel free to contact our partner SINTEF.

ARV made it into the Neighbourhood Index!

ARV, together with the Horizon2020 project syn.ikia and Research Centre on Zero Emission Neighbourhoods (ZEN) contribute to the index with neighbourhood scale frameworks and demonstrations for energy and resource-efficient, climate positive circular communities in Norway and Europe. More information is available here.

The Neighbourhood Index is the Oslo Architecture Triennale’s catalogue of neighbourhood projects, practices and perspectives. The objective of the index is to share projects, practices and perspectives that contribute to better neighbourhoods. The work of architects, planners, urban practitioners, academics, artists and activists from around the world was compiled in one place, the result being a valuable source of inspiration. The profiles of the chosen projects support the defining concept of what neighbourhoods are, meaning that both physical and social dimensions are included.

The index is divided into several themes: Streets with (new) meaning; Public plays; Social infrastructure; Ways of living, ways of sharing; Transforming, adapting, reusing; Naturehood – wilder and greener; Production and commercial diversity; and Rethinking processes and governance.

The Index was composed through the Open Call that the Triennale launched spring 2022, the projects being selected by an international jury. Out of the 251 projects selected for the index, six will be presented in the Triennale’s main exhibition in Oslo. You can read all about the Oslo Architecture Triennale here.


The Encyclopenergy germinated from the ARV – Climate Positive Circular Communities project which is funded by the European Green Deal initiative as an Innovation Action within the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (ID: 101036723). It is one of the first concrete results of our partners' work.

It is a crowd-open-sourced encyclopedia of energy efficiency enablers for buildings renovation and construction. It is a crowdsourced global catalogue of financing tools, business models, and regulatory frameworks enabling regenerative, adaptive and nature based solutions for the built environment.

As a knowledge repository for ARV, Encyclopenergy is there to stay and continuously grow. You can see below that the database is starting to become a reliable source. If you are also interested to share, find out more here.


New Metropolitan Perspectives 2022
Politecnico di Torino, one of the project partners, participated in the this international symposium in order to present ARV-supported research through the paper entitled Evaluating Positive Energy Districts: A Literature Review”.

This research aimed to conduct a literature review to find more evaluation methods, so that the concept of the PED (positive energy district) is not confined to academic areas but can be put into practice. One of the most interesting points of the research is the analysis of the evaluation approach. This shows that the most used evaluation methods are Cost of Benefits Analysis (CBA) and the Sensitivity Analysis.

As you can see in the above example, this analysis shows that the CBA, touch all the areas, followed by the Sensitivity Analysis. The results show an important product in the fields of Environmental Sciences, Energy and Engineering.

For more information, feel free to contact our partner.

Future events

19-22 July 2022 | conference | Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions – SSPCR 2022

Eurac Research is organizing, which is already at its 4th edition. The main discussion theme is how to ensure a sustainable future and a better quality of life. If you want to join the discussion, you have tie until the 10th of July to register.
For more information and registration, visit the web page.

20 September 2022 | online workshop | Positive energy neighbourhoods for Europe's fair, effective and resilient energy transition
As part of the European Sustainable Energy Week, this session brings together oPEN Lab, ARV and PROBONO, three large projects funded as part of the Horizon 2020 programme in support of the EU Green Deal, to discuss how Positive Energy Neighbourhoods (PEN) can support a full decarbonisation of the building sector. Policymakers are progressively recognising the vital role of PEN in developing a carbon-neutral and energy independent future, yet few policies to increase PEN currently exist. More information and registration are available here

A great website for great information!

The amazing team @designedly have been nominated for the prestigious .eu Web Awards for the work they did on the ARV website. You can vote for them here. From there, go to the drop down menu and click nominees. Use the search icon to search for ARV then hit the vote button!


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 101036723.

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