Alert | Near Zero Energy Building (NZEB)



04 August 2016

Last week (29 July 2016) the European Commission published guidelines for the promotion of nearly zero-energy buildings and best practices to ensure that, by 2020, all new buildings are nearly zero-energy buildings. According to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), a nearly zero energy building is a “building that has a very high energy performance”. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should to a very significant extent be covered by energy from renewable sources, including renewable energy produced on-site or nearby.”


According to Sarah Clayton Lea writing in NZEB (Link: Here)

“From January 2019 every new public building in the EU will have to be designed to nearly zero energy building (NZEB) standards. All other new buildings will have to comply with the new nearly zero energy buildings standards from January 2021.”

With all buildings to be NZEB by 2021, professionals involved in construction must ensure that they are up to date with the skills and knowledge required to meet the EU regulations.

In 2014, nearly a third of construction professionals did not know about the nearly-zero energy requirement for all new buildings by the year 2020, according to a survey by Passive House Plus. The professional organisations involved do not appear to have stepped up to the mark in providing appropriate training for this legislation that is only 36 months away; this is a very narrow window in the construction sector where projects have very long lead-in times.

The Irish standards for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings are set out in the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Goverment’s (DECLG) publication ‘Towards Nearly Nero Energy Buildings in Ireland – Planning for 2020 and Beyond’, issued in November 2012. For dwellings, the Irish NZEB standard will be equivalent to a primary energy value of 45 kWh/m2/annum (i.e. an A2 BER rating) Link: Here

Through the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (2009-2020) the Irish government has set ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions for local authorities by 33 % by 2020. In doing so a new impetus has been set to bring older social housing stock in Ireland up to a minimum Building Energy Rating (BER) of C1.

During the weekend of 11th – 13th Nov 2016, owners of low energy buildings will open their doors to the public nationwide during the NZEB Open Doors event. Link: Here)

Further Information is available here:

Other Posts of Interest:

Designers create the ‘impossible’ zero-carbon house in 16 weeks | BBC News

Irish government in row over passivhaus eco building regulations | The Guardian

Passive Resistance | DECLG versus DLR

Building industry objections to passive house are deeply flawed | Passive House +

Part L compliance – Who wants a building control service provided by cowboys?

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