Vision of ZERO-PLUS

Achieving near Zero and Positive Energy Settlements in Europe using Advanced Energy Technology

In ZERO-PLUS, a comprehensive, cost-effective system for Net Zero Energy (NZE) settlements will be developed and implemented. The system will be composed of innovative solutions for the building envelope, for building energy generation and management, and for energy management at the settlement level.

A reduction of operational energy usage to an average of 0-20 kWh/m² per year (compared with the current average of 70-230 kWh/m²) will be achieved through a transition from single NZE buildings to NZE settlements, in which the energy loads and resources are optimally managed. A primary objective of the project will be to develop a system whose investment costs will be at least 16% lower than current costs. In order to reduce "balance of system" costs, an approach of mass customization will be employed. Mass produced technologies will be integrated in a system that is optimally designed according to the local climate and site of each project in which it is implemented. To this end, a structured process will be developed and applied for the integration, optimization and verification of the design.

The project's work programme will ensure a rapid market uptake, within its four-year scope, of the innovative solutions that will be developed. These solutions will be implemented in four different demonstration projects throughout the EU, with varying climates and building types. The results of their implementation will be monitored, analyzed and disseminated. A comprehensive market analysis and business plan will support the commercial exploitation of the project's results. The project will be carried out by a consortium that includes universities, project owners, technology providers and organizations, which will closely collaborate in all the project's phases.



Objectives of ZERO-PLUS

The goal of this project is to provide the market with an innovative, yet readily implementable system for NZE residential neighbourhoods that will significantly reduce their costs. Consequently, the project has the following objectives:

·         The first objective of the project is a reduction of the operational energy usage in residential buildings to an average of 0-20 kWh/m² per year, compared with the current average of 70-230 kWh/m² energy per year. The reduced energy consumption will be attained through the application of a number of technologies, including highly efficient insulation, heating and lighting, as well as automated Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) in four selected case studies of 5300 m² of buildings.

·         In order to achieve the NZE goal, at least 50 kWh/m² renewable energy per year will be generated, on average, in the NZE settlement. This objective will be attained through the integration in the settlement of innovative energy production technologies such as Linear Fresnel Reflectors, advanced building integrated photovoltaics (biPV) and advanced wind driven energy production systems.

·         Greater energy efficiency can only be achieved through a transition from single NZE buildings to NZE settlements, in which the energy loads and resources are optimally managed. This objective will be attained through the application of solutions for the distribution network, energy storage and micro grid control on a district level, as well as through an optimum climatic management of the open spaces in the settlement.

·         The cost of NZE settlements will be reduced by at least 16%, compared with current costs. This cost reduction will be achieved through a strategy of mass customization. To achieve this objective, a modular building system will be developed that is customized and optimized according to the specific requirements of each building and settlement, yet is implemented through cost-effective industrialized processes.

·         To ensure that the results of this project will have an impact on the building industry, the final objective is a market uptake of the solutions developed in this project by the year 2018. This will be attained through the demonstration of the solutions in four different real-life case studies across the EU under different climatic conditions, and through the dissemination and exploitation of the results of these case studies, based on a comprehensive market analysis and business plan.

·         To support the shift towards resource-efficient, low-carbon and climate-resilient buildings and districts, by enhancing the role of Europe’s construction industry in the reduction of the EU’s carbon footprint by almost 77kg CO2/m² with a total 408 tonnes CO2 offset for all ZERO-PLUS case studies.



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