Action A.1. Information collection and design of technical criteria for the choice of pilot buildingsIn the framework of this action, a methodology was designed that allowed the identification and selection of technical criteria to facilitate the choice of the pilot buildings of the project. The selection of these technical criteria was carried out through the analysis of information provided by the administrations responsible for the buildings and through databases of the Ministries of Education of Spain and Portugal.See moreThe criteria were categorised into exclusionary criteria, those that applied a first filter of buildings, and inclusionary criteria, those that scored the buildings according to their constructive, social, economic and environmental characteristics.
All information on the selected criteria can be found in the main deliverable of this action, downloadable from this section.
A brief summary of the selected criteria is also available in unit 8 of the online training developed by LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN, accessible via this link.
Once the selection criteria have been identified, an evaluation matrix is created with a list of potential educational buildings for each region in which the project will intervene: province of Badajoz, region of Central Alentejo and municipality of Porto. The project partners, especially the Provincial Council of Badajoz (DIPBA), the Intermunicipal Community of Central Alentejo (CIMAC) and the Municipality of Porto (MP), carry out intensive fieldwork to collect the missing data of the listed buildings and an assessment is made according to the scores marked by the selected criteria. Once the highest scoring schools for each region have been obtained, the decision is communicated to regional and local governments and the educational community of the selected schools for approval.
The final selection of the three pilot buildings took place in February 2019, as scheduled in the project report.
After having selected all the pilot buildings, the project members worked to obtain the relevant permits from the relevant authorities. In some cases, obtaining these permits took some time, although this was not a problem for continuing with the rest of the actions, as the non-formal authorisation from the competent persons was already in place. Thus, the drafting of the construction projects (Action A2) took place on the dates indicated in the project proposal.
Action A.2. Drafting of projects for the application of nature-based prototypes in pilot buildings.Action A2 starts with the search for information related to Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), their application as climate adaptation tools and their effectiveness (costs/benefits). In order to obtain and compile all this information, an intensive research work is carried out on other projects and initiatives that have worked or are working with this type of solutions, contacting some of these projects in some cases, and elaborating a database that serves as a working matrix with the best available NBS to be used in the LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN pilot buildings.See moreThe database and working matrix contains information such as brief descriptions of the NBS identified, their area of intervention (roof, façade, etc.), the climate change effects they face, the type of social, economic and environmental benefit they provide, their limitations or the degree of innovation. This document is presented as a simple manual to be used by the members of the LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN project to determine the most appropriate NBS in each case and as inspiration for the design of new solutions that will act as prototypes in each construction project.
After collecting and analysing all this information, the three construction projects are drawn up in close collaboration with the educational community of the three pilot buildings to meet the needs identified. Key players in the intervention regions are also consulted on the technical aspects of the project (e.g. architecture faculties, municipal technicians, etc.). In this way, the different technical projects are obtained and the technical specifications for the execution and implementation of the works are drawn up.
Once the projects have been drawn up, a document is prepared that includes extended information on the database and work matrix prepared at the beginning of the action and on the solutions and prototypes designed for LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN. The material prepared in the course of this action is available here.
Action C.1. Preparation and drafting of the Pilot BuildingsOnce the preparatory actions were completed, several meetings were held between the different technical teams of the project to identify the environmental, social and economic challenges to be addressed with the actions proposed in the project, as well as the indicators that would measure the impact of the actions and the metrics that would be considered appropriate for their evaluation.See moreWith this information defined, a study was carried out to define the baseline for the three pilot buildings prior to the implementation of NBS. These studies included measurements of CO2 inside and temperature and humidity inside and outside the buildings, measurement of envelope temperature and external noise levels, calculation of rainwater harvesting, measurement of building transmittance, energy and water consumption costs, sampling of local biodiversity and abundance of species associated with the pilot buildings, monitoring of the presence and growth of bioindicator species of air quality, etc.
Once these studies had been carried out, a Baseline was obtained with which to compare the results obtained. The design of the Baseline can be downloaded from the results section of the website.
Taking into account the time at which the works started in each pilot building, the amount of information in the Baseline varies for each intervention. In the case of Solana de los Barros, whose works started first, the Baseline was elaborated with a smaller amount of information than in the case of the pilot building in Évora, whose works started in the last phase of the project. Despite this, in all three pilot buildings, the Baseline obtained was sufficiently consistent to allow comparison with the subsequent results obtained during the surveys of action C3.
Action C.2. Implementation of Nature-Based Solutions in pilot buildings. Execution of WorksThis action is the core of the LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN project as it is the action during which the different construction projects are carried out in the pilot buildings.See moreFor this purpose, public calls for tenders are carried out in which several companies express their interest in carrying out the proposed works. This phase of public tenders was not easy due to different reasons that can be consulted in the good practice guide that will be available here. Some of these reasons could be foreseen and were solved relatively easily, however, others, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or the subsequent war in Ukraine, made the tendering process more difficult and made certain construction materials more expensive, forcing the project team to request an extension of the project completion date on two occasions.
The execution of the works in the three pilot buildings involved the installation of the NBS prototypes designed for LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN in the building structures and exterior surfaces, the implementation of induced natural ventilation and seasonal shading systems, and the installation of permeable paving. Although permeable paving was installed in the Solana de los Barros and Évora buildings, due to the high cost of the prototype version, it was only installed and tested at laboratory level in the facilities of the Eduardo Torroja Institute of Construction Sciences (IETcc-CSIC), obtaining results of its effectiveness.
Prior to the installation of the NBS prototypes, the Royal Botanical Garden (RJB-CSIC) carried out a study on the best plant species to be used in each building and with each type of solution (roofs or façades). This study lasted throughout the course of the project, as some of the species selected did not behave as originally planned, which meant that they had to be replaced after the works had been completed.
During this action, documents were produced such as technical manuals for the NBS used in the pilot buildings, a work matrix with the selection of plant species to be used in the designed prototypes, action plans for the implementation of induced natural ventilation and seasonal shading formulas, and technical manuals for the installation of permeable surfaces, which aim to facilitate the process of transferability of these solutions to any person or entity wishing to use them in the future. All this documentation is available in the results section of the website.
Action C.3. Monitoring and Evaluation of Nature-Based Solutions as climate adaptation measures in pilot buildingsThe development of this action consists in the execution of the monitoring plans of the impact of the solutions implemented by LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN. During the monitoring carried out, the indicators mentioned in action C1 were measured, so that they could be compared with the project baseline and the real impact of the NBS could be analysed. In addition, other types of socio-economic indicators were measured and used for reporting in this area, as described in action D2.See moreDue to certain problems discussed in Action C2 that delayed the start of works in the pilot buildings, it was not possible to implement the full monitoring plan, which had a minimum duration of two years, in any of the buildings.
In the case of the Solana de los Barros building, an additional 6 months of effective NBS monitoring is needed to obtain more conclusive results. This time is extended to a year and a half in the case of the Porto building, and the full two years of monitoring are necessary in the case of the Évora building, whose works were completed the same month as the end of the LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN project.
In addition to the time needed to conclude the actual monitoring in the three pilot buildings, it is necessary to continue the long-term monitoring to check the effect of the NBS at a more advanced stage of vegetation development.
The LIFE-myBUILIDINGisGREEN project partners have committed themselves to carry out all necessary sampling during the After-LIFE period (March 2024 – February 2028). To do so, they have elaborated a realistic and coherent document, available here, in which they will use their own funds and those of other initiatives related to the project in order to conclude the monitoring and other actions of the After-LIFE period on transferability and communication of the results in the long term.
In this section, you can download the full report of the results obtained at the end date of LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN (February 2024). As more consistent results on the impact of the implemented NBS are obtained, this document will be updated and disseminated to the target groups identified by the project.
Action C.4. Governance for the active adaptation of Climate Change in Education and Social Services Buildings.The governance action is one of the project’s transferability actions. In this case, work has been carried out with different administrations with different levels of competence (local, regional and national) to centralise and incorporate the climate problem of temperature increase in educational and social buildings in southern Europe and the application of NBS as adaptation solutions to this problem in the agenda of the different politicians and decision-makers.See moreIn order to achieve the aforementioned objective, a documentation platform was elaborated with the key institutions and experts in this field that could potentially be approached by the LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN project, and who could become important allies allowing a wide transferability of the actions and solutions conceived by the project.
Based on the documentation generated and stored in the documentation platform, the project team held a series of meetings with key stakeholders with an interest in the objectives of LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN. As a result of these meetings, a series of agreements were reached that would allow the transferability of the project’s actions and facilitate the subsequent use and implementation of the project’s NBS in other contexts. These agreements and the mechanisms that facilitate the transferability of the project’s NBS are referred to as Governance Tools.
The documentary platform, the report with the governance tools identified and the report with the progress achieved by the project in the development and use of these governance tools are available in this and the following sections.
By way of summary, among the agreements signed and the progress achieved, the following stand out: (a) signing of territorial agreements with 14 municipalities in Central Alentejo, in which they commit to use NBS for the climate adaptation of public buildings; (b) signing of declarations of interest to promote initiatives for the implementation of NBS as a climate change adaptation measure with 8 municipalities in the province of Badajoz; c) inclusion of the NBS concept and its benefits in the municipal regulations of the City Council of Porto; d) signature of a letter of support from the unit responsible for the Technical Building Code (CTE) in the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, in which the interest in the NBS of the project and the advice offered to include them in the future in the Online Catalogue of Building Solutions of the CTE is confirmed.
Action C.5. Integration and transferability at local, national and European levelThis action is closely related to Action C4, as many of the meetings organised under the previous action were used to define and improve the quality of the documents produced under Action C5. Meetings with experts and participation in various European and other technical workshops were also organised to explore the transferability possibilities of the project’s NBS.See moreThe key difference in the transferability of this action compared to action C4, is that action C5 is aimed at more technical profiles that may be interested in using the LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN NBS in the future, at the educational community that wants to teach about the benefits of NBS in educational centres or at professionals from other European countries with similar climate problems to those we have in Portugal and Spain.
To address this objective, a Replicability Plan of the project was created, which is available in the results section of the website. Based on this plan, several replicability deliverables, intervention protocols, recommendation reports, etc. were developed, highlighting the design of 15 example projects in 15 schools in different European countries, representing the four major climate risk areas of the continent. For each of these schools, an analysis of bioclimatic strategies was carried out and, based on basic characteristics such as the type of roof, the height of the buildings or their orientation, the best LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN NBS were proposed for each building, estimating what their real impact would be and what energy savings could be made in each case.
In addition to these open-access theoretical deliverables, on-site events were organised in the three pilot buildings to raise awareness of the particularities of the NBS implemented in each case. These workshops were aimed at technical profiles, municipal and regional authorities and technicians, as well as school managers, with the idea of promoting the transferability of the project’s NBS to other buildings or contexts. The programmes of these workshops, as well as the rest of the documentation elaborated in action C5, can be consulted in this and following sections.
Action C.6. Action Plan to Strengthen Adaptability in Current and Future BuildingsThe last implementation action of the project is also a transferability action, as in the case of actions C4 and C5. On this occasion, work was carried out on the creation of training material to be used later on with different audiences.See moreFirstly, the project created a database of experts and institutions with key competences to strengthen the capacities of trainers working in sustainability education, including climate change adaptation in cities, and technical staff working in the design, implementation and/or maintenance of green infrastructure.
In parallel to the development of the database, the Nature-Based Solutions Package for Climate Adaptation in Buildings was prepared, which is what we have called the “LIFE-mBiG Climate Adaptation Package”. This is a deliverable that is composed of a series of documents that are a training resource to be used later on with different audiences, with priority being given to trainers in early childhood, primary and environmental education centres, as well as more technical profiles.
The database has served as an organisational document for the subsequent dissemination of the LIFE-mBiG Climate Adaptation Package to those people and institutions that can make use of the material contained therein, either through education or through the use of the Nature-Based Solutions implemented by the LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN project.
In addition, the project partner institutions themselves will use part of these educational resources generated in future training programmes to raise awareness of the project’s NBS among students in their regions, using the pilot buildings as references in the use of NBS for the adaptation of buildings to climate change. An example is the training programme developed and launched in November 2023 by the City Council of Porto in the Falcão school, pilot building of the project, whose contents are included in the LIFE-mBiG Climate Adaptation Package, which is available here.
Action D.1. Monitoring the impact of project indicatorsThe LIFE Programme establishes the mandatory monitoring of certain indicators to evaluate the effects of the project’s actions and the effectiveness of the technical actions to measure the impact generated on the target environmental problem. This monitoring has been carried out in this action, which to a large extent coincides with the monitoring carried out during actions C1 and C3 of the project.See moreAs a result of this action, a table is included with the indicators that were introduced in the KPI Webtool, which is the online tool of the LIFE Programme for monitoring the indicators of the project and its results. This table can be consulted here.
Action D.2. Monitoring the socio-economic impact of project actionsThe development of action D2 aims to explain how the project has affected different socio-economic aspects, such as, for example, the number of jobs generated, the impact of the project on the well-being and health of the users, etc.See moreThe socio-economic impacts, as stated in the project proposal, have been measured through surveys of the users of the educational centres where the project is taking place, as well as the population in the area of influence of these buildings. In addition, the different socio-economic aspects of the project have been analysed to determine its impact in the regions where LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN takes place, including to a lesser extent the regions of the other project partners.
This action summarised the socio-economic situation of the project intervention regions, analysed the economic impact of the project actions and the social benefits acquired by the population affected by the project, and synthesised the environmental impact of the project, which is further developed in deliverable C3. “Report and results of the monitoring and evaluation of the proposed impacts on the pilot buildings” of LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN. All this information has been collected in the elaboration of the socio-economic report of the project that can be consulted in this section.
Action D.3. Evaluación, Control y Seguimiento de los indicadores de rendimiento del proyecto. LIFE KPI WebtoolAction D3 is a continuation of action D1. On this occasion, it explains the methodology of the indicators selected in the KPI Webtool and their evaluation, including a series of conclusions for each indicator and determining whether the objectives set were achieved and justifying those cases in which they were not achieved or conclusive results were not yet obtained. The full report including the evaluation of the KPI Webtool indicators can be found in this section.
ACTIONS E: COMMUNICATION AND DISSEMINATION
Action E.1. Communication and Dissemination Plan of the project
Action E.2. Communication activities for the target audience
Action E.3. Knowledge transfer of NBS as climate adaptation solutionsIn the framework of these actions, the project team elaborated a Communication Plan (available here) that served as a basis for creating internal guidelines to be followed for the dissemination and communication of the LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN project actions to help achieve its goals.See moreAs a repository of all the project information, this website was created in three languages: Spanish, Portuguese and English. Communication channels such as X (former Twitter), LinkedIn and YouTube were also created and made more dynamic. In addition, the project was promoted in a multitude of external media and specific magazines, as well as in various thematic knowledge channels and identified networks, highlighting Climate-ADAPT, the NBS Observatory of the CONAMA Foundation and the European Committee of the Regions.
Among the documents created in the communication actions, the Layman report of the project, the networking report with all the collaboration relations with other initiatives, and several reports of the communication events organised by LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN, such as round tables, conferences, exhibitions, congresses, etc. were elaborated.
One of the most remarkable milestones among the communication actions is the creation of an online training on the experience of LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN, which introduces the problem of temperature increase in buildings due to climate change, possible NBS available to address this environmental issue, the experience of the three pilot buildings, as well as the monitoring scheme and the first results obtained. The online training is available at this link.
To consult all the documentation generated by the LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN project in relation to its communication actions, we recommend accessing this and following sections.
ACTIONS F: PROJECT COORDINATION AND MANAGEMENT
For the optimal development of the project, the entire project team was in permanent communication to coordinate and manage the implementation of the actions carried out in the course of LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN.Administrative, financial and implementation management was facilitated through the implementation of a teamwork platform (ALFRESCO). The Coordination team was supported by a group of experts consisting of a Scientific Committee on the one hand and a Monitoring Committee with representatives of the administrations responsible for the buildings on the other hand. In addition, three specific working groups were created on broad areas of work in which CSIC coordinated the actions of each group: administrative-financial, technical and communication.See moreAmong the coordination actions was the commitment with the LIFE Programme to carry out an external audit of the project accounts. Due to changes in the Programme regulations, projects with a budget such as LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN were exempted from this type of audit.
Finally, within the coordination and management actions of the project, there was also a commitment to draw up an After-LIFE work plan for the five years following the end of the project. In the case of the LIFE-myBUILDINGisGREEN project, the elaboration of this Plan was a particularly important task as it included the commitment and planning of the project partners to conclude the monitoring actions that could not be carried out during the course of the project. The complete After-LIFE Plan can be found here.