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Stefano Prosseda - How to raise the number of nZEBs in Europe? Experts provide their insights into probing questions

Contributed by: EEIG

DIRECTION’s second replication workshop took place in September, organised by Eurac in Bolzano, Italy. This is one of three workshops organised as part of DIRECTION’s outreach aimed at maximising replicability potential as the project enters its final months.
Stefano Prosseda
Construction cluster manager at TIS Techno Innovation South Tirol

Stefano is a Material Engineer specialising in Quality and Production, and has been acting as Manager of Construction Cluster for South-Tyrolean Territory, in the public agency for innovation ( since 2011. From 2016 onward, TIS activities were transferred in IDM ( the special governmental agency for economic development. Main duty is to foster cooperation between our +280 SMEs and professionals (belonging to our Cluster and territory) and local policy, R&D public and private institutions and other relevant stakeholders. He also has responsibility for fostering competiveness of local SMEs, by supporting innovation processes from market (request) to market (commercialization). Support provided on technical, strategical, cooperation and exploitation activities.

Do you think there is a real market for nZEBs in Europe in the short term?

Instead of there being one market, there are various niches that require differentiated development strategies in order to arrive at a “standard consumer” size, today only known by the “early adopters”. It is therefore necessary to divide the strategy into initiatives in the short, medium and long term. You also need to differentiate the market according to investors (buyers) and those who produce products and services for this type of building. A further important market division is between public buyers, private (residential) and private (commercial). Then, the private residential category can be divided into two groups: homeowners including small multi-property owners, and the “condos”.

Which governmental initiatives (regulation, public funding, etc.) could ensure the growth of the nZEB market, making nZEBs more appealing to public and private developers and end users? Or does the private sector need to take the lead? Why?

As stated previously, there is a need for initiatives in the various niches. There is no sector that acts as an example or pioneer for others. However, the public sector – for office buildings – and the private sector – for commercial buildings – are strong enough to impact on the design and implementation of highly efficient buildings.In addition to the regulatory context with its incentives and legal requirements, it is necessary to stress not just the levels of efficiency in nZEBs, but also their ability (if well designed) to offer occupants a high degree of comfort and enhanced quality of life (and work). This is what really matters to occupants, whether they are owners or tenants. Attention can then shift away from the economic aspects of energy savings: an nZEB doesn’t always find itself at the optimal point between initial investment and energy savings. A building in the highest energy class doesn’t necessarily rank high for comfort, as several experiences have already shown.

Do you believe your company would benefit from a higher market share of nZEBs compared to traditional buildings?

We take care to promote innovation among local SMEs, for which the issues of “quality” construction represent a factor of competitiveness.

How could the design of nZEBS be integrated into the public procurement procedures?

Local authorities need to be involved. They should be helped in integrating IDP processes and simple performance indicators in pilot calls, with “incremental complexity" and in accordance with the possibilities of public procurement procedures. For instance, this could involve setting up projects with European or local public funding. These could provide for a series of contracts over a period of 3-5 years covering the efforts and additional consultancy needed to integrate IDP and a performance approach into the procurement process.

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Organisation EEIG
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Related information


Countries (4)

  • Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy


Energy, energy saving, NZEBs, policy, guidelines, opinion, expert, buildings, construction technology
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