Chosen Case Studies of nZEB Retrofit Buildings

Chosen Case Studies of nZEB Retrofit Buildings

Joanna Klimowicz (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4105-9.ch009


The reasons why the buildings are named intelligent and the cities are called smart arise from the requirement to achieve effective use of natural resources while maintaining at least current standard of living when faced with global climatic changes and growing scarcity of resources. Now, energy efficient and environmentally friendly urban solutions tend to concentrate on the possibilities of upgrade of already existing buildings that form the majority of the contemporary urbanized landscape. Due to the increasing human population, our world is undergoing rapid urban development. This state overlaps with climate changes and growing scarcity of resources, which has a high impact on the ongoing transformation of our built environment. Many of those issues are mirrored by European legislation, especially in Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, which makes nearly zero-energy buildings a standard by 2020. Many of the technologies are already available. nZEB renovation process will be a challenge for parties involved in the design and construction process.
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Recast of EBPD Directive has been welcomed by the members as it defines various issues which for some time were interpreted rather freely depending on the local policies and culture. This includes the definition of an nZEB building and optimum costs. According to some experts (Sartori, et al. 2014), it is not possible to construct a nearly zero energy building without high rise in construction costs. On the other hand, German market prices prove that such buildings may be provided at only 2% of higher investment input (Sartori, et al. 2014). Still even the recast Directive lacks certain precision. Neither calculation methods for the energy characteristics have been included. Applicable in this case Article 7 of the EPBD states that

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that when buildings undergo major renovation, the energy performance of the building or the renovated part thereof is upgraded in order to meet minimum energy performance requirements set in accordance with Article 4 so far as this is technically, functionally and economically feasible”. Major renovations, as defined in Article 2 of the EPBD recast, include the renovation of a building where: “(a) the total cost of the renovation relating to the building envelope or the technical building systems is higher than 25% of the value of the building, excluding the value of the land upon which the building is situated; or (b) more than 25% of the surface of the building envelope undergoes renovation.

Member States can follow either or both of those options. Since the definition of major renovations – associated with retrofit procedures differ from country to country, it is currently very difficult to compare the outcome of various renovation choices. Hence, in 2016, the outcomes on observatory of market studies and various data tools used for nZEBs were published (Zebra2020). Due to lack of an official European definition, authors’ of Zebra 2020 developed an indicator described as major renovation equivalent and defined three renovation levels: low, medium, and deep. It should nevertheless be noted, that any case studies on nZEB buildings new or retrofit, located in different countries and therefore subjected to different legal requirements, do not correspond to the same level of energy savings. Therefore any comparisons should be made to analogous processes rather than uniform outcomes.

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