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Achieving near Zero and Positive Energy Settlements in Europe using Advanced Energy Technology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ZERO-PLUS (Achieving near Zero and Positive Energy Settlements in Europe using Advanced Energy Technology)

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2018-09-30

ZERO-PLUS is a collaborative approach to the design and construction of settlements, involving technology providers, energy efficiency and renewable energy experts and developers who work together from the earliest stages of project conception.
The goal of ZERO-PLUS is to provide the market with an innovative, yet readily implementable system for Net Zero Energy (NZE) settlements that will significantly reduce their costs. The benefits of the analysis at the settlement level arise from looking at the larger scale compared to single buildings, and at a system of houses with their interactions. This means, for instance, cost reduction through the deployment of renewable energy technologies at the settlement level instead of individually in each building. The concept can expand to aspects such as efficient water systems, electric mobility, etc.
ZERO-PLUS settlements exceed the state of the art by setting performance objectives requiring improvement relative to other energy efficient buildings:
•Operational energy use reduced to an average of 0-20 kWh/m2/y
•Generation of a minimum of 50 kWh/m2/y of renewable energy
•Reduced cost by at least 16%
Until the end of the project four ZERO-PLUS settlements will be realized. They are located in different locations (Cyprus, France, Italy and the UK) and consist of different types of building (ranging from villas to apartment buildings for social housing) thus demonstrating the adaptability and wide applicability of the ZERO-PLUS concept.
All four ZERO-PLUS settlements are now in implementation phase.
ZERO-PLUS buildings achieve net regulated energy consumption below 20 kWh/m2/y and produce at least 50 kWh/m2/y. The cost of the individual ZERO-PLUS buildings is reduced by at least 16% compared to a NZE Building that has the same energy and environmental performance but does not benefit from:
•energy reduction from advanced building envelope components
•energy reduction from the use of advanced energy management systems
•energy production by settlement level renewables
•energy reduction from improved microclimate.
The integrated design of the settlements went through technical and financial optimization that resulted to the final configuration and size of the innovative systems and techniques. The design of the settlements was evaluated at different stages by Review Panels of external experts and the accuracy of the cost reduction calculations was certified by external cost experts for each of the settlements. The current design of the ZERO-PLUS settlements results to a carbon footprint reduction of about 58 kgrCO2/m2.
In order to ensure performance as designed a significant amount of work has been carried out. As part of the off-site manufacturing concept, the design for X-methods as an appropriate product design methodology for off-site manufacturing were introduced and guidelines and checklists resulting from the Design for Production, Design for Assembly and Robot-oriented design analyses were presented to allow for the product design activities of ZERO-PLUS to be evaluated. A Process-oriented Information Modelling (PIM) concept has been introduced to assist a collaborative way of planning, designing, producing and assembling. Feasible solutions for the production, transportation, assembly, installation activities and life-cycle management of the selected energy producing products in each case study were developed. To test the proposed design concept, and the assembly procedure, a full-scale mock-up of the chosen technology products was built. The physical design of the subsystems and of the interfaces that connect them to each other is coordinated to ensure that they fit together properly and that the design contains no clashes between the different sub-systems.
A Cost Management program to support the cost-effective design and execution of the case studies was developed and a Change Management process was defined to allow synchronized and collaborative work between all the key stakeholders during design and implementation. A Just In Time (JIT) supply logistics plan has been developed and the necessary parameters and information regarding the site plan of each of the four case studies, both for the buildings as well as for the settlements were set out. A location-based schedule was prepared for each case study to be considered during onsite assembly and a comprehensive technology commissioning plan related to the production, installation and acceptance phases was designed.
A Web-GIS monitoring & performance analysis platform has been delivered and current work focuses on its interconnection with the settlements. A detailed Monitoring and Verification plan describing the steps and methodologies that will be followed for measuring and verifying the actual performance of the ZERO-PLUS case studies has been developed. Any ethical issues arising from the collection of personal data in the M&V process have been identified and addressed.
A market analysis of trends in the construction of residential highly energy performing buildings determined: the dynamics of the market in terms of current levels of new building construction; the drivers and barriers to various business models in the market; key companies involved in production, distribution and installation, and; trends in the industry in terms of the technologies and processes identified. The business case (financial costs/benefits) for the technology developed within the project and the market
The focus of this project is on demonstration and deployment of innovative technologies for NZE buildings. Through the efforts to address cost reductions and demonstration of NZE buildings and districts, the project will contribute to moving the R&D to the market. The project spans the gap between product/technology push, and market/demand pull. The ZERO-PLUS concept will integrate a range of technologies that are innovative yet sufficiently mature to be implemented in demonstration projects, with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of at least 7.
Project results will contribute to the development of a market for NZE settlements in the EU that will comply with the EPBD obligations and thus meet ‘nearly zero-energy’ performance levels. The innovative technologies developed will reduce the cost barrier to market uptake of such buildings by being more affordable than current state of the art. Solutions will be developed and demonstrated that will enable significant acceleration of the speed with which such projects are taken up by the market.
Measures to maximise impact are integrated seamlessly into the project as a whole, beginning with ensuring that the design of the building components developed responds to the needs of the market and culminating with the development of a sample business plan. This business plan will be a starting point for companies planning to exploit the project’s outputs to expand their participation in the market for NZE buildings.
Synoptic diagram of the components of the ZERO-PLUS system