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Sustainable Energy systems in New buildings- market inTROduction of feasibility studies under the Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (SENTRO)

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The project starts with making an inventory on how EU Member States are complying with the requirements of conducting a feasibility study for alternative energy systems for new buildings and which policy they pursue to actively introduce this requirement. Subsequently, in the seven SENTRO countries (Denmark, France, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and The Netherlands), an inventory is also made of the building practices as a possible barrier of the implementation of alternative energy systems. After this inventory phase, an approach is developed to ensure that assessment of alternative energy systems will become an integral part in the common planning process of new buildings. Supporting tools of the approach (checklist and a handbook) include technical, financial as well as organisational aspects. Core of the project is a field trial in which the developed approach (including the checklist and handbook) is tested in the seven SENTRO countries. Finally, experiences are disseminated through courses and conferences towards the different target groups (e.g. national and international policy makers and key actors in the national building process).


  • The requirement for a feasibility study on alternative energy systems is adopted in different ways in the legislation of the 27 EU Member States. Four basic approaches are identified and analysed in the report "Inventory of Implementation of Feasibility Studies from EPBD Article 5 in EU 27 (Status 3/2007)"
  • It is identified that the impact of this requirement across the EU could be increased through adjustments, fine tuning, adherence to certain preconditions and provision of support mechanisms: options are put forward
  • Important preconditions and support mechanisms identified are: increased awareness of regulations and obligations at national level; structural embedding of the energy concept into the building process; guarantee of the quality of the feasibility study; appropriate compliance mechanisms; coherent requirements and recommendations for design procedures, including recommended software
  • SENTRO has produced an approach, with supporting tools such as a universal checklist and handbook. Nationally tailored versions available for the participating countries. As a result of the activities, the investigation of at least two promising alternative energy systems is adopted as a requirement in the Slovenian legislation, whilst it is also partly embedded in Dutch Energy Agency's method for selection of heat supply options
  • In France, the developed course for feasibility studies is proposed for incorporation in the more general training course on energy performance requirements. Finally, awareness about the feasibility study requirement is heightened at the level of national and local authorities (e.g. Lithuania)

Lessons learned

  • From the experience during the SENTRO project, in particular the 27 field trials on actual design projects, the following crucial factors are identified as being essential for a successful implementation of alternative energy systems in new buildings.
  • Team work! Commitment of all key actors involved for the energy concept throughout the various phases of the building process. People in the building team with sufficient skills and knowledge.
  • Awareness of the energy concept and implementation of the feasibility study for AES on time. This will be most successful if started in programming phase and elaborated during proposal phase. At least two alternatives of promising energy concepts have to be identified. In this way a more level playing field is created for alternative energy concepts versus conventional ones.

Partners and coordinator

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Ecofys b.v.
Contact point: 
Arjan Visser
0031 30 2808 313
Maarten Neelis
Mirjam Harmelink
+31 30 2808 495
Menno Chang
Frank Zegers
0031 30 2808 313
Suzanne Joosen
0031 30 2808357
Giel Linthorst
0031 (0)30 2808322


Key documents

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In brief

01/11/2006 to 28/02/2009
Contract number: 

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