Green SandboxBuilder - Regulatory sandboxes in the field of sustainable construction and renovation
Starting point / motivation
In the "Green SandboxBuilder" project, for the first time in Austria, the need for regulatory sandboxes for ecologically sustainable and climate-effective projects in the building sector is being systematically explored. While preliminary work on regulatory sandboxes already exists for the mobility and energy sectors, this knowledge is still completely lacking in the building sector. However, the implementation of regulatory sandboxes in the Austrian construction sector can contribute to decisively accelerating the introduction of technological, procedural and social innovations and thus to achieving the sustainability goals.
An interdisciplinary consortium of four partners - the innovation consultancy winnovation, the academic partners TU Wien and FH Campus Wien as well as the initiative For Forest Forever -, supported by the legal expertise of the law firm Schönherr and a broad network in the construction industry and in the context of sustainability, is investigating in several steps in which application contexts and legal matters regulatory sandboxes have the greatest impact, where they are really needed and where there is the greatest likelihood of implementation.
The Green SandboxBuilder is generating new knowledge about the need for exemption clauses in the highly regulated construction sector. This newly generated knowledge provides evidence for required open spaces in this sector to policy makers, legislators and standard setters as well as authorities, something which is extremely important for decarbonisation.
The methodology used to develop regulatory sandboxes is tailor-made to the challenge: Along a systematic open innovation process with interviews, co-creation workshops and digital crowdsourcing, the "Green SandboxBuilder" specifically collects and combines knowledge from innovative users, experts and other stakeholders in planning, approval procedures, construction, operation, refurbishment and recycling (pattern recognition and data triangulation).
Multidimensional prioritisation of topics is provided for by selected assessment steps allow for a. A special feature is that regulators from the federal, state and local governments, i.e. normative and legislative bodies and thus key implementers of exception clauses are included in the process in order to create awareness at an early stage and to be able to explore potentials for implementation.
Through this strong anchoring of open innovation principles in the research and development process, as a result of the "Green SandboxBuilder", areas of application for regulatory sandboxes are proposed and presented which meet with a high level of acceptance among innovators in the construction industry (regulees), but also among legislators and standard setters (regulators), and thus make the exploitation/utilisation of the results more likely.
This approach is a decisive advantage given the low prevalence of exemption and experimentation clauses in Austrian law and the strong need for rapid decarbonisation in the construction industry.
The results of the project are:
- an overview of existing regulatory sandboxes, international best practices and lessons learned for the construction sector including a catalogue of laws, regulations and standards relevant in Austria;
- scoping of regulatory areas of tension in sustainable construction including a description of particularly relevant topics,
- needs analysis in the construction industry,
- concrete proposals for regulatory sandboxes in the field of sustainable construction with a high probability of implementation and
- recommendations for action for implementation.
winnovation consulting gmbh
Project or cooperation partners
- FH Campus Wien Forschungs- und Entwicklungs GmbH
- For Forest Forever GmbH
- TU Wien – Institut für Interdisziplinäres Bauprozessmanagement