Are nZEBs nearly near zero enough? Considerations of nZEB housing and standards as a solution to building associated climate change

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Abstract

All new dwellings in the European Union are to abide
by the near Zero Energy Building (nZEB) Standard from
2020. Accordance to this standard will result in a much
improved next generation of residential buildings, over
buildings built even ten years ago. This study, however,
investigates if considering the urgent matter of climate
change, buildings built to this standard are even efficient
enough. Or more pertinently it asks even if we build
these new buildings to these high standards, are we
building too many buildings? Is there enough of our
‘carbon budget’ remaining, or might the construction
and operation of a new cohort of buildings push us
beyond boundary limits? This paper evaluates nZEB in
the context of the above narrative. It places nZEB as the
optimum build solution for that which will be built and
then questions if the nZEB standard is stringent enough.
Does it stipulate a performance that is near enough to
zero? And can it capture the full range of performance in
and across nZEB homes. Are broader or stricter
regulations required to ensure these buildings are nearly
zero in operation. Or as previously questioned, is
building a folly when considered in light of the greater
climate crisis context?
The paper outlines a thought experiment based on
construction projections until 2060. Phenomena of
building usage are identified using some real data from
case study buildings of the nZEB101 project.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Nov 2020
EventPassive Low Energy Architecture 2020: Planning Post Carbon Cities - University of A Coruña, A Coruna, Spain
Duration: 1 Sep 20203 Sep 2020
http://www.plea2020.org

Conference

ConferencePassive Low Energy Architecture 2020
Abbreviated titlePLEA2020
CountrySpain
CityA Coruna
Period1/09/203/09/20
Internet address

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