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Energy-demand levels and corresponding residential concept houses and the specific challenges of very low-energy houses in colder climates

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This report provides the quantitative comparison of the different regulations and criteria collected and compared qualitatively in NorthPass report “Application of the local criteria/standards and their differences for very low-energy and low energy houses in the participating countries”. The compiled design rules have been merged together with different approaches to meet very low energy consumption according to different criteria. The focus was in the space heating demand. Nevertheless, also total energy use was calculated and compared when relevant for the different regulations and criteria. The analysis in this report is based on comparative calculations with as uniform input as possible for the different calculation tools. The comparison of the level of energy requirements of single North European countries’ building regulations as well as comparison of the level of energy requirements in the different criteria for very low-energy buildings shows that there are very big differences between the energy requirements of the single countries with about a factor 5 between the tightest and loosest regulations. For very low energy building criteria the difference is much smaller. The combination of the compiled design guidelines depending on the climatic conditions for the very low energy buildings in the colder climates and the concrete calculations with different calculation tools with different assumptions is a good starting point for any further work for realization of very energy efficient buildings in all Europe. The results of the calculations presented in this report is condensed in the description of the concept buildings – optimised buildings which will meet very tight energy requirements in each of the climates represented.

IEE NorthPass-project aims at overcoming barriers on the very low-energy house markets in cold climate, such as the lack of well-defined concepts adapted to the severe climate conditions, awareness of very low-energy houses, lack of products on the market and customer attitudes. This report is the final and third NorthPass report concerning definitions and concept buildings. The other two reports are “Application of the local criteria/standards and their differences for very low-energy and low energy houses in the participating countries" and “Principles of low-energy houses applicable in North European countries and their applicability throughout the EU". In “Application of the local criteria/standards and their differences for very low-energy and low energy houses in the participating countries" information about the existing building regulations and very low energy criteria in use in eight North European countries were collected and compared qualitatively. In “Principles of low-energy houses applicable in North European countries and their applicability throughout the EU", the main principles for very low energy building design were collected and compiled to meet the specific demands given by the lower temperature and less sun radiation in the winter time in the North Europe. This, and other NorthPass results reports can be uploaded from the project website www.northpass.eu