Near(?) 0-energy buildings

New blog has been uploaded ,  entitled: The definition of near 0-energy buildings, a short treatise on the EU directive on 0-energy buildings  (EPBD recast 2010)

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BEYOND 0-ENERGY: PARADIGM SHIFT IN ASSESSMENT

The world is on the eve of major changes in the way energy and material are used, and the building and construction sector is at the forefront. One of the revolutionary changes is that for 0-energy houses and buildings. Many countries already have some projects established, and legislation is following, first requiring near 0-energy, but undoubtedly this will evolve into 0-energy as basic requirement. Buildings will generate all required energy from within their building lot, from incoming free and renewable energy sources: solar radiation and earth core heat mainly. In other words, there are no polluting or depleting issues anymore related to energy consumed to operate a building. This will change the whole approach in evaluation and optimization of the environmental performance of buildings: while the energy-driven measures for buildings become obsolete, it will be materials needed for this transition that have to become the main focus, as argued in this paper. – See more at: http://www.mdpi.com/2075-5309/5/1/1/htm#sthash.8U1DXCJI.dpuf

The world is on the eve of major changes in the way energy and material are used, and the building and construction sector is at the forefront. One of the revolutionary changes is that for 0-energy houses and buildings. Many countries already have some projects established, and legislation is following, first requiring near 0-energy, but undoubtedly this will evolve into 0-energy as basic requirement. Buildings will generate all required energy from within their building lot, from incoming free and renewable energy sources: solar radiation and earth core heat mainly. In other words, there are no polluting or depleting issues anymore related to energy consumed to operate a building.

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New energy retrofit concept : ‘renovation trains’ for mass housing

A large operation is required to make Europe’s existing housing stock more energy efficient, in terms of both demand reduction as well as the installation of local renewable energy technologies. The combination of overall (national) energy targets and the European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) targets suggests the scale of this task involves the retrofitting of millions of houses. An example of a large-scale, rapid process is presented where a series of houses have been retrofitted using a standardized process.

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MOU with Kaohsiung city , Taiwan

Last week, Kaohsiung city government in Southern Taiwan, and SBS centre signed a MOU to jointly explore the the introduction of zero -impact built environment strategies.  Kaohsiung has already made first steps with their LOHAS approach, a set of guidelines for sustainable Building, mainly aimed at energy measures, , and wants to explore further steps regarding material and water management  for their current development projects. One of these being the old harbour region, which is under re-development. The cooperation will consist of workshops with stakeholders, training and education exchange and small research projects.   The MOU was signed with the Mayor of Kaohsiung , mrs Chen, during the Third Lohas conference, the regional sustainable building event.   Before and after the conference a few small workshops where held with stakeholders and the SHU-TE university, to explore some first ideas.

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Brilliant concept: decentralised data centers

Some weeks ago  I visited “fertighauswelt” near Köln/Cologne, Germany. A exhibition area with real demonstration houses ( turn key delivered concepts), some 24  in total. (http://www.fertighauswelt-koeln.de/) 10 (!) of these houses  are delivered as plus energy houses . Some interesting observations: all houses are wood construction based! ; Solar panels on roofs is mostly add-on PV, in a few cases roof-tile style panels ;  The amount of installations in energy plus houses is exploding, as we experienced ourself  in two constructed 0-energy houses.
But one of them had a very innovative approach: Data centers are huge consumer of energy, and produce a lot of heat due to the required cooling capacity. The concept of the “Streif house” is, that a combination is made  with the creation of  a decentralized data center: They place a standard data unit in your house, the size of a big refrigerator, and take care of all the running costs. The waste heat is for the house owner, who will receive no energy bill for heating in the next 15 years. And the data center , based on hundreds of decentralised units, runs anyway, without having to built a huge facility.  And its not just an idea, its already practiced. ( “STREIF Heat Server heizen zum Nulltarif “) 
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