The benefits of the analysis at the settlement level arise not only from the larger scale compared to single buildings, but also, importantly, from looking 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.
Strategies that can lead to cost reduction compared to building level design include:
- Increasing the efficiency of the components that provide energy conservation and energy generation in the settlement: Innovative technologies are developed and applied to increase the efficiency of components providing energy conservation and energy production in the Net Zero Energy (NZE) buildings and districts. This reduces costs, by allowing, for example, less material and space to be used for these purposes.
- Reducing the "balance of system" costs through efficient production and installation processes: These costs encompass all the components other than those directly providing energy conservation and generation, such as components for the storage, distribution and management of the energy.
- Reducing operational costs through better management of the loads and resources, made possible by operating at a district scale rather than at the scale of a single building. Operational costs are reduced through the optimal management of dynamic energy loads and resources at the building and district level. This is done by using innovative energy management technologies for the entire settlement.
For more information about Net Zero Energy Settlements you can visit the ZERO-PLUS project website.