Europe aims for a nearly-Zero Energy Building standard (nZEB) by 2020. BPIE’s research supports the development and implementation of such a standard, alongside monitoring the legislative progress and support programmes in the EU. The next milestone includes positive energy buildings (PEBs), which produce more energy than they need, playing a crucial role in speeding up the integration of renewable energy systems and turning buildings into energy sources.
The 2012 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) furthered the importance of ensuring that a new construction continually improves its energy performance.
The EPBD for new buildings require nearly Zero-Energy Buildings by 2019 for public buildings (2021 for all buildings), as well as that the concept of cost optimality be integrated into building codes.
Moving towards nZEBs will ensure the highest levels of energy efficiency, with the rest of the energy requirements coming, as much as possible, from renewable energy. The EPBD contains the requirement for Member States to ensure that minimum energy performance standards for buildings and building elements are set “with a view to achieving cost-optimal levels”. While it does not require a harmonisation of the different Member State performance requirements (i.e. EU-wide performance requirements), it works to streamline the levels of ambition through benchmarking existing performance requirements against a common approach to standard setting.
BPIE was also part of EU consortia of the ZEBRA2020 project working on tracking the market transition to nZEBs. The goal was to derive recommendations and strategies for the building industry and policy makers and to accelerate the market uptake of nZEBs.
BPIE was part of the ENTRANZE project, actively supporting EU policy makers preparing for the era of nearly Zero-Energy Buildings.