The ZERO-PLUS project is an initiative that seeks the realization of new buildings with high energy performance. ZERO-PLUS aims to develop a low-cost system for Net Zero Settlements (NZE). The system will consist of innovative solutions for the building envelope and for the energy building generation and its management. Three strategies for decreasing the cost of NZE settlements:
- Increasing the efficiency of the components directly providing the energy conservation and energy generation.
- Reducing the “balance of system” costs, through efficient production and installation processes.
- Reducing operational costs, through better management of the loads and resources on a district scale.
NZE settlements – Vision
The transition from single NZE buildings to NZE settlements will provide a reduction of operational energy usage to an average of 0-20 kWh/m² per year (compared with the current of 70-230 kWh/m²). NZE settlements will ensure a better management for energy loads and resources.
In order to reduce “balance of system” costs, the project will employ an approach of mass customization. The implementation of mass produced technologies is determined by the local climate and site of each project. To this end, a structured process will be developed and applied for the integration, optimization and verification of the design.
NZE settlements – Objectives
The goal of this project is to provide the market with an innovative NS readily implementable system for NZE residential neighborhoods. Consequently, the project has the following objectives:
1. A reduction of the operational energy usage in residential buildings to an average of 0-20 kWh/m² per year. The application of highly efficient insulation, heating and lighting, as well as automated Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) will guarantee reduced energy usage.
2. At least 50 kWh/m² renewable energy per year will be generated in the NZE settlement through the integration of innovative energy production technologies.
3. The transition from single NZE buildings to NZE settlements is the only way to achieve a greater energy efficiency. NZE settlements optimally manage the energy loads and resources.
4. The cost of NZE settlements will decrease at least 16%, compared with current costs. Through the strategy of mass customization, the project will achieve that reduction cost. The initiative will develop a customized and optimized modular building system according to the specific requirements of each building and settlement.
5. Ensuring that the results of this project will have an impact on the building industry. For that, researchers are to demonstrate of the four different real-life case studies across the EU under different climatic conditions, to 2018.
6. Supporting the shift towards resource-efficient, low-carbon and climate-resilient buildings and districts.