Construcciones Zorzano was originally founded in 1991 in La Rioja region of Spain. Since the very inception of the company, this family owned SME has set as their goal to find viable insulation methods for buildings. As such, their current portfolio of completed projects boasts lower energy consumption than the requirements by Spanish law, the company's mission is set on becoming a fully near zero energy buildings developer as soon as financially possible. Over 400 housing and commercial units with a total value of over 15€ million have been developed with passive insulation techniques imbedded in them by the company in the northern region of Spain.

 consists of self-supporting, non-structural, adjoining panels that float and allow space to set an uninterrupted, thermal-bridge free, building envelope. The panels hover around leaving a single continuous volume around the building. This increases the thermal resistance of the house as a single system by effectively eliminating all thermal bridges; the result is insulation four times as effective at lower costs.

INSUPanel constitutes a major breakthrough component inside the construction technology required to reach high levels of insulation. It solves the problem of competing methods that fail to achieve enough insulation without significant costs added. This construction process will drop energy requirements by up to 90% meaning direct savings of 2,558€ annually for each housing unit across Europe. It goes in line with European Directives (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive)

We are speaking with Juan Zorzano, CEO of Construcciones Zorzano

It seems possible for a SME in the Building sector to innovate…
‘Of course, it is not only possible, it is a must. Currently, to innovate is not an option, but an obligation in this and almost any sector. If a Building company intends to stay in business for another 25 years, as it is our case, either you have exclusive products and achieve competitive improvements through innovation or will find it very difficult to survive’.

What is your idea financed by the SME Instrument?
'The idea starts from the development of a light panel for the envelopment of nearly zero-energy buildings. With Zorzano Insupanel, we can eliminate thermal bridges in façades which is extremely important in order to make an efficient building. In addition, we obtain significant time reductions on site'.

To what extent do you consider that the SME Instrument is useful to achieve the company’s goals?
'One thing is for sure: an SME only stands if it has a quality product or service but the great handicap is the lack of support structure that include experts in key business development issues to ensure a proper commercialization and internationalization strategy. Therefore I can affirm that the SME Instrument could allow us the implementation of actions so that a quality product can evolve into a great business project'.

When and how did you decide to present a proposal to SME Instrument?
'Well, it started in a crossborder brokerage organized by ADER in November 2014. I met Javier Hernández from the company Solarboxby by chance, which was also beneficiary of the SME Instrument. He knew our solution and encouraged us to apply. After that, we were selected for the Itinerario PYME14 organized by ADER. This allowed us to validate our idea for an eventual application to the Phase 1 of the SME Instrument. We also attended different Infodays organized by ADER where we could also meet the national contact points of the CDTI. The final boost was the aids of ADER that allow the subcontracting of experts for the elaboration of the proposal'

What would you say to other SMEs that are not aware about this instrument?
'I would encourage them to get in contact with the Enterprise Europe Network experts. They will provide valuable information and will assess together with the company the potential of the idea and the next steps to be taken'.