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Webinar | Designing, constructing and monitoring Net Zero Energy (NZE) Settlements

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This webinar took place on the 19th Novermber, 15.00 to 16.30. 

Watch it now.

The concept of zero energy settlements is relatively new as, until recently, the focus of EU policy was mainly on the building scale. These days, in view of the ambitious 2050 full decarbonisation target, the revival of the ‘neighborhood’ concept and the need to reduce the initial and operational costs the benefits from designing at the settlement level have been put in the spotlight. 


The ZERO-PLUS project has developed a method and accompanying tools to provide an overarching solution to the barriers to the successful construction of new residential Net Zero Energy Settlements (NZES).


Focusing on the settlement level instead of on single buildings, the ZERO-PLUS approach aims to bring together technology suppliers, energy efficiency and renewable energy experts, and developers who work together from the earliest stages of project conception to optimise the NZES design.  


The benefits of applying the ZERO-PLUS approach have been demonstrated in four pilot projects in different climatic settings (in France, the UK, Italy and Cyprus) as part of the ZERO-PLUS project. 


The ZERO-PLUS approach consists of three phases, Design, Construction, and Occupancy, with each having its own set of activities.  


The Design phase comprises the planning and design of the buildings and settlement, with the emphasis on planning for all design strategies and technologies to be installed at the settlement level.


This phase includes: Building and Settlement level simulation using state-of-the-art simulation techniques; Initial integrated design; Design optimisation; and Commissioning and M&V plans. 


At every step of the Construction phase, collaborative and coordinated work between construction actors is ensured by following the detailed commissioning plan prepared in the Design phase and using the developed ZERO-PLUS tools and guidelines.


As the construction of the building progresses, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, and monitoring components are integrated into the building structure, following the guidelines laid out in the commissioning plan.


Once the installation of energy and environmental systems is completed, functional and pre-occupancy checks take place to ensure any deficiencies are handled according to the commissioning plan.  


Activities related to the Occupancy phase include the documentation, collection, and analysis of data at the building and settlement level using the WebGIS platform, which is accessible by all stakeholders involved in the ownership, operation and maintenance of the building.


The data gathered is adapted to the needs of each individual case. Using the Post-Occupancy Evaluation protocol, the analysis of the data generated will enable an optimal allocation of funds for the maintenance of the buildings and settlement.  


The tools and methods developed for each of the three phases of the ZERO-PLUS approach are described in this guidebook. It consists of a series of guidelines for designing and implementing NZE Buildings and Settlements in Europe that can be used by subsequent similar projects and by the building industry.  


The purpose of this webinar is to open up the novel ZERO-PLUS approach to stakeholders of energy efficiency from different fields of practice (i.e. architects, engineers, industry and professionals, utilities, large vendors, and other building-energy related companies and project owners) and demonstrate the benefits of its implementation. 




15h00 – 15h10 – Shabtai ISAAC, Associate Professor, BGU: 

  • Benefits and barriers for the practical implementation of Net Zero Energy Settlements  

15h10 – 15h20 – Margarita-Niki ASSIMAKOPOULOS, Associate Professor, NKUA

  • The ZERO-PLUS approach for the design, construction and monitoring of Net Zero Energy Settlements (NZES): What it is, what are the benefits, what can it achieve, where is it applicable. 

15h20 – 15h30 – Kostas GOBAKIS, Research Associate, TUC​: 

  • The digital monitoring and evaluation platform of ZERO-PLUS. The way towards a digitalized future 

15h30 – 15h40 – Anna Laura PISELLO, Assistant Professor, UNIPG

  • Energy communities. How have regulations/market changed the past years and what is still needed. The case of the Italian ZERO-PLUS settlement 

15h40 – 15h50 – Salvatore CARLUCCI, Professor, CYI

  • Technologies for the settlements of the future. The case of the Cipriot ZERO-PLUS case study 

15h50 – 16h00 – Sven KOEHLER, Executive Director, ANERDGY: 

  • Benefits for the technology provider. Opportunities for TRL advancement and SME growth from participation in H2020 Innovation Actions 

16h00 - 16h30 – Moderated Q&A. 


Watch it now!