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European buildings: securing a near zero / positive energy future

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Securing a near zero and positive energy future for buildings in Europe


The Zero Plus project and the contribution of OPAC38


Buildings are central to the EU's energy efficiency policy and will be key towards a fair, green energy transition. At the same time, innovation in reducing consumption usually comes with rather high costs. The Horizon 2020 project "Achieving near Zero and Positive Energy Settlements in Europe using Advanced Energy Technology" (in short, ZERO-PLUS) meets the challenge to develop a comprehensive, cost-effective modular system for Net Zero Energy (NZE) settlements and to implement it in a series of case studies across the EU. The end goal of this project is to provide the market with an optimized, integrated, readily implementable system for NZE settlements that will significantly reduce their costs.


To achieve their aim project partners will be implementing three parallel strategies:


•    increasing the efficiency of the components directly providing the energy conservation and energy generation in the NZE settlement

•    reducing the "balance of system" costs through efficient production and installation processes

•    reducing operational costs through better management of the loads and resources on a district scale rather than on the scale of a single building


The contribution of OPAC 38


OPAC38 is part of the ZERO PLUS project. It started last October 2015 and will last 4 years. Within the project, OPAC38 will build 18 dwellings using technologies provided by partners from the project to reach consumptions below 20 kWh/m² and energy production above 50 kWh/m².


Overall, the organisation, a member of the French social housing federation, Union Sociale pour l’Habitat (USH) has been promoting and implementing an environmental and energy policy since 1995. In order to fulfil its mission more completely, OPAC38 decided in 2002 that sustainable development was to be the “main strategic line of the corporate development”. OPAC38 wrote its own Agenda21 together with all its stakeholders, including employees, tenants, political and financial partners.


In line with the Agenda21 and an overall responsible housing approach, the OPAC 38 continues its efforts in building High Environmental Quality (HQE), sustainable rehabilitation and environmental awareness of its inhabitants.


This redaction has been jointly compiled between the ZERO PLUS project and OPAC38 and Housing Europe.



Please see the relevant BUILD UP link item here.