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  • Writer's pictureEvergreen System


nZEB in Europe: technology solutions, cost assessment and performances

The report edited by ZEBRA2020 ( presents how European nZebs are approaching in the market. The report we’ve analyzed here at Evergreen (see document attached), summarizes one of the most updated nZEBs’ analysis dated 2016, providing:

  • nZEB target and features all around European Countriesn

  • ZEB costs and related macro-economic benefitsn

  • ZEB performances, with expected energy savings

  • Reasons and suggestions to overcome predicted and monitored energy consumption

  • Opinion of professionals concerning nZEBs.

The report shows not only how trends of nZEBs are growing in some European countries, but also the reasons why nZEB’s penetration appears with so many differences. Buildings are classified according to: climate zones, construction typology and use and type.

The original document gives an overview about:

  • nZEB Envelopes: double and triple glass windows, passive cooling solutions, sunshades and natural ventilation strategies.

  • nZEB Active Technologies: Mechanical Ventilation with heat recovery system; heat Pumps and boilers as heating system for DHW.

  • nZEB Renewable Energies: Solar thermal and photovoltaic systems (unfortunately there are no examples nor experiences that show how Geothermic fields and Residential Energy Storage work and support nZEB’s efficiency).

  • nZEB Assessment of renovation costs associated macro-economic benefits.

  • nZEB Expected savings of new and renovated building.

The work includes and well describes 12 nZEB’s case studies. During a monitoring phase, some cases showed better results and other cases had pointed out a much higher over-consumption. These results were influenced by different factors such as:

  • user impact;

  • design and planning;

  • commissioning,control and monitoring;

  • user’s lack of knowledge and environmental awareness.

The report also offers several suggestions on how to overcome causes and minimize their impact.

In the final chapter, you will find different opinions of professionals regarding nZEBs’ market and construction. High performance envelope and windows seem to be a very recurring passive solution, (but no one case consider to use “insulation frames” in between windows and walls/floors), an heavy presence is granted to heat pumps and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery systems.

Think nZEBs market’s penetration is too slow. The reports mentions that because of the lack of  builder skills and experience together, extra investments costs used to achieve nZEB’s standards are the reasons of such slowness.

Here at Evergreen we strongly disagree and we believe these are only excuses.

Obviously, we know there are still many opportunities to be explored! nZEBs are already over!! New border for designers will be in a short ZEB.

Giuseppe Macario

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