The term nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB) means a building that has very high energy performance. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby. nZEB is not a technical standard but a policy requirement leading to the tightening of future buildings’ standards. Specific definitions and implementation will be decided by each Member State but there is presently a strong need for more guidance and common understanding for implementing sustainable but yet feasible nZEB definitions. Official definitions and technical standards do not exist in all project partner countries.
The EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), introduced in 2002 and recast in 2010, is the main legislative instrument for improving the energy performance of the European building stock. The main results from this (EPBD, 2010/31/EU) directive across all Europe are a tighter energy performance regulation for construction and renovations, building certification schemes and certification and inspections for heating and air-conditioning systems:
As established by the EPBD directive recast, by 2020, all new buildings constructed in Europe must be nZEB and, from 2019 onward, new buildings occupied and owned by public authorities should be nZEB.
Parallel to the requirements of the (EPBD, 2010/31/EU) directive, the Renewable Energy Directive (RED, 2009/28/EU) also sets requirements related to buildings. The (RED, 2009/28/EU) directive stipulates that: by 2014 all Member States’ building regulations and codes will require the use of minimum levels of energy from renewable sources in new buildings and in existing buildings that are subject to major renovation; and that, from 2012 onwards, Member States ensure that new and existing public buildings that are subject to major renovation, at national, regional and local level fulfill an exemplary role in the context of this directive.
The SouthZEB project is an Intelligent Energy – Europe funded project (IEE/13/393/SI2.675576) which addresses the IEE priority for 2013 on continuous professional development.
The SouthZEB project runs for 30 months (March 2014 to August 2016) and aims at designing and developing nZEB certified lifelong training modules to building professionals in the Southern European countries.