16 May 2020

“Glavbolgarstroy” starts work on energy innovation

GBS is the first Bulgarian construction company to win funding under “Horizon 2020”

In partnership with the leading technical universities Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany), Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands), Materials Physics Center (Spain) and various industry representatives from Western Europe, “Glavbolgarstroy” was granted funding for a revolutionary project aiming at developing a new generation of insulation material with energy storage capabilities. The NRG-STORAGE [1] project is funded under the “Horizon 2020” program – the to date EU’s largest research and innovation program bringing achievements, discoveries and innovations and transferring revolutionary ideas from laboratory to market.

The concept targets non-residential buildings and aims to achieve 25% better insulation capacity and at least 10% higher energy storage capacity. The layer of the multi-functional and eNeRGy saving cementitious Foam (NRG-Foam) that will be proposed by the project shall be characterized also with a high water and air tightness (between 10% and 25% higher than existing solutions) and with at least 15% lower costs than the actual solutions available in Europe. The heat-activated foam will be used for passive/active management of energy transfer and will be applied to new building envelopes. Graphene-based nano-additives and Phase Change Materials will be embedded in order to improve the thermal energy storage capacity, volume stability and mechanical properties of the resulting composites.

Besides the technical universities from Germany, The Netherlands and Spain, among the partners of the project’s international consortium are also other universities, research centres, industry representatives and small and medium-sized enterprises from the Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Argentina and Spain. Together, the 13 partners plan to carry out the project in 7 key stages, for a period of 4 calendar years. It will cover the development, design and optimization of the new insulation foam, as well as its testing through 27 demonstration walls, 3 new full-scale demonstration buildings, based in Bulgaria, and 2 demo sites of existing non-residential constructions in Spain and Germany.

As the only representative of the building sector, “Glavbolgarstroy” will be responsible for the construction of the demo buildings in Bulgaria and the application of the façade elements together with the German company RÖSER Ingenieurbeton. According to the project, three different coatings will be installed on the three facades for optimizing the results.

In a follow-up project’s stage the buildings’ performance shall be monitored for a period of 2 years in terms of thermal insulation and energy storage capabilities via temperature sensors, by measuring the air temperature and temperature of the surfaces in buildings, weather resistance, thermal bridges and low insulation points, as well as energy efficiency with regards to consumption of energy for heating and cooling.

In broader terms, the results of the NRG-STORAGE project will contribute to achieving the ambitious goals of the European Union’s Green Deal, addressing environmental and climate change challenges. In particular, with regards to the construction sector and in the field of efficient energy and resource renovation of buildings, the NRG-STORAGE project shall contribute to tackling the double challenge at EU level of energy efficiency and sustainability. It has the potential to provide breakthrough solutions for energy savings since building consumption accounts for 40% of energy consumption and the annual renovation rate of the building stock varies from 0.4 to 1.2% in the Member States.

[1] Nanocomposites in non-Residential building envelopes for Green active/passive energy (NRG) STORAGE,

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870114.