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POWERHOUSE NEARLY ZERO CHALLENGE! (POWER HOUSE NZC)

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Through the consolidation of existing analysis and the compilation of cost and consumption data in selected pilots, Four Inter-EU Taskforces will build capacity and confidence among Europe’s social, cooperative and public housing providers ahead of NZEB obligations. The taskforce working on cold, continental climates will address, in particular, concerns on hidden cost implications of increased airtightness linked to ventilation and air quality through monitoring and reporting of costs for works carried out, maintenance and consumption during the use-phase in ten exemplary developments. This data, coupled with field studies, will be a key component for confidence building. In parallel, in warm, Mediterranean climates where meeting NZEB requirements requires a different approach, the taskforce will use the same methodology, to mainstream effective solutions. The third joint taskforce will showcase exemplary financing and organisational solutions used to reach nearly zero standards in existing housing in divided ownership. The forth taskforce will address the need to make the business case for nearly- zero housing and for maximum mobilisation of public and private finance.

Results

  • Fair Energy Transition Award Launched: Successful Collaboration with the Solar Decathlon Europe and the presentation of the first edition of the ‘CECODHAS Housing Europe-Solar Decathlon Europe Fair Energy Transition award’ at the Project Launch in Madrid in September 2012.The Solar Decathlon Europe has identified innovative designs for new forms of nearly-zero housing that could be developed in the future by social housing providers, most notably the Canopea Nano Towers by Team Rhône-Alpes.
  • Barriers and Ideal conditions for optimal nZEB development have been identified: Recommendations for social housing providers on the path to nearly Zero Buildings have been prepared on the basis of status reviews and needs analysis completed by each taskforce. These Recommendations will serve as a guide for the preparation of national nearly Zero Energy Building Roadmaps. The report containing these findings will be presented at the World Sustainable Energy Days in Wels in March 2013.
  • Data Based Reality Check Ready to go live! 30 pilot projects have been selection for monitoring and are being uploaded to the on-line energy tracker. This data will present a mine of very useful information for the formulation of implementable nZEB policies as for the first time we will be get an accurate picture of the energy consumption in occupied large residential buildings, both refurbished and new-build which will allow comparison between planned and realized energy performance standards.
  • Real Input to Policy at EU level: Findings from the financial needs analysis have been used to feed high-level consultation from the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. This should make a real difference in matching financial needs to financial products available.
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Lessons learned

  • A review of the progress to date in the ten countries participating in the project has shown that experience varies widely between Member States. Only Austria and Germany have developed a significant number of nZEB dwellings, Sweden has many low-energy dwellings but most of the other countries have only a handful, most of which have been developed as demonstration projects. The need for a divergent approach in the Mediterranean region of Europe has been recognised.
  • A survey of the social housing providers in the ten Member States identified five key types of barriers in delivering new construction to nZEB standards and retrofitting their stock to an appropriate standard: economic and financial, credibility, technical, organisational and legislative.
  • Progress is already being made to support the transition to nearly-zero energy buildings in the Member States and examples. These include financial incentives to ensure that improvements can be carried out without rent increases (e.g Klima Bonus inn Bielefeld, Germany, KredEx revolving fund for energy efficient refurbishment in Estonia, advice schemes in Italy and France and a competition to deliver energy efficient housing at an affordable price in Sweden SABO’s Kombohus).
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

The European Liaison Committee for Social Housing
Belgium
Contact point: 
Name: 
Ms. Sorcha Edwards
Tel: 
+ 32 2 541 05 61

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In brief

Duration:
11/04/2012 to 10/04/2015
Contract number: 
IEE-11-007-SI2.615921

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