Shane Faulkner


3 Counties Energy Agency


Affordable & Sustainable Housing through Digitisation


Housing 4.0E – Developing the North-West Europe housing sector to reduce carbon emissions by applying new digital 4.0 techniques for small affordable near zero energy houses.

Via Interreg NWE ERDF, 8 partners across Europe working together to build a digital platform which will allow for affordable and sustainable living solutions(58 pilots in total) through manufacturing means. By researching, testing and implementing sustainable materials and technologies, the EU-wide team aim to deliver 58 Zero Energy Homes which are 25% less expensive than a traditional home and with 60% less embodied and operational energy usage than a traditional home.


The EU 2030 Framework for climate and energy sets targets for cutting 40% of CO2 emissions, increasing the share of renewable energy to greater than 27% and providing at least 27% energy savings across Europe. The North West Europe (NWE) region is the most industrialised region—as well as the most prolific CO2-emitting region—in Europe.
Within this region, the housing sector alone accounts for nearly one-third of all CO2 emissions, as there is currently no great push within this industry to achieve the EU targets. Meanwhile, decreasing household size, changing patterns of regional population density and other social factors such as rising homelessness and lack of affordable housing, have led to a significant decline in demand for large, expensive and energy-inefficient homes; and in turn, this has led to the increased desire for smaller, more affordable energy-efficient living spaces.

This project will facilitate the uptake of low carbon and digital technologies, products, processes and services in the housing sector to reduce carbon emissions and improve quality of life for homeowners in the region and beyond. The main goal of Housing 4.0 Energy is to offer people in NWE access to new, smaller, zero energy/low carbon homes (ZEHs) effectively, aiming to reduce home building costs by 25% and carbon emissions by 60%.

Transnational development and digitalization (4.0) techniques and a digital platform—designed within H4.0E to facilitate the digitalization of building homes and transferability of these techniques—will ignite fundamental changes in design, manufacturing and construction within the housing industry to meet both EU targets and the needs of homeowners in NWE. Using a client-based approach, as well as € 2.5 Million in European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding and a total budget of € 4.2 Million, H4.0E partners will work with local authorities, social housing companies, architects, engineers, construction companies and current homeowners across North West Europe. It offers the opportunity In Ireland to build a new market whereby digital housing designs can be issued to a local manufacturer to provide precision cut materials and subsequently issued to site where homeowners or construction companies can erect the zero energy homes quicker and at a lower cost.
Lead by 3CEA, Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford County Council have each committed to delivering 4 Zero Energy Homes, 12 in total.

The project will be tested and monitored for viability in six pilot sites representing varying levels of industry and carbon emissions, ranging from cities in low carbon regions to rural areas in less carbon conscientious regions. On a long term perspective, various pilot monitoring, trades training, promotion and economic drive in terms of jobs, market creation, supply chain improvement etc will all take place to ensure project success and opportunities to build upon the pilot and deliver 100’s more Zero Energy homes in NWE by 2030.

About Shane Faulkner:

Shane joined 3CEA as an Energy Engineer in July 2016 having worked in the Oil & Gas Industry with Petrofac Ltd in Scotland since graduating from Limerick IT (2009) and Edinburgh Napier University(2011) with degree’s in Renewable Energy Systems & Environmental Engineering respectively. Shane is now head of Project Delivery within 3CEA having helped deliver consecutive successful SEAI BEC applications since arriving, and he also assists the team with Energy Auditing and Consultancy projects. Shane is now a Certified Energy Manager with Project Management credentials (APMP) with experience across 3CEA’s Private , Public and Community portfolio. Some of Shanes current focus is on Housing 4.0 project on which he will present on the day.

About 3CEA:

3CEA, formerly known as Carlow-Kilkenny Energy Agency are a not-for-divided company based in St.Kieran’s College, Kilkenny.3CEA support and drive the sustainable activities amongst the citizens and organisations of its region.
3CEA are committed to supporting every energy user in the region, from community scale, to public sector and Industry in utilising energy more efficiently, monitoring energy usage and leaning towards a greater choice of renewable energy sources.
By leveraging, promoting, researching, implementing and measuring projects that reduce Total Energy, 3CEA have managed to;

  • Achieve over €20,000,000 in capital investment which drives economic activity in the region including jobs
  • Achieve over €16,000,000 in avoided energy spend via energy efficiency and renewable energy projects
  • Save 30,000Gwh of energy and 10,500 tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere

3CEAs range of services include Energy Auditing, Project Management, Public Sector energy services, EU Project management, Domestic Retrofit solutions, Public Lighting Upgrades and Monitoring & Reporting.
These services are delivered through a highly skilled and experienced team with various specialities.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *