Nearly Zero Energy Neighborhoods: ZenN-project

Project coordinator Francisco Rodriguez, Tecnalia, answers questions about ZenN-project. What is it about, what are the main contributions, key success factors and important upcoming activities.

- What is ZenN-project about?

The ZenN project tries to show how low energy retrofitting can be implemented cost effectively at the neighborhood level, in a wide range of scenarios. Up to six different renovation actions will be carried out in Eibar, Grenoble , Malmö and Oslo, and every aspect of the process will be studied and monitored, with the objectives of capturing the best practices, improving the whole process from the technical, financial and management perspectives, and disseminating the experienced to all relevant stakeholders, from the local authorities, to the industry, and of course, owners and tenants.

As a result, replication plans will be drafted at several levels with the aim of maximizing the project impact.

- What are the main contributions of ZenN?

We are looking forward to several interesting results from activities in ZenN. In first place, the project is aiming to propose a definition of what can be considered nearly zero energy building renovation (nZEBR). This is important and has its implications in, for example, how to measure the energy balances of the building, and the project will also provide guidelines on how to deal with these metrics. But maybe the most important contribution we hope to make lies in the lessons learnt from study of the several demos in the project, the proposals for improvements derived from these lessons, and the trianing and awareness raising in different stakeholders, derived from the dissemination actions planned over the course of the project .

Other expected contributions are the identification of the most promising business and management models to facilitate nZEBR porcesses at large scale, as well as providing the industry with guidance for the development of new technological solutions for nZEBR.

- What are the key success factors for ZenN?

I think the main challenge is to reach high consumption reduction figures in the demonstrators, and also to be able to extract applicable lessons from them. These will be key to ensure a proper replication of the experience.

- Upcoming important activities?

One of the first main activities of the project will be the development of a precise definition for nearly zero energy building retrofitting, and the development of the monitoring scheme to support this definition. Obviously the most important activities of the project are the works around demos. They will be analyzed and validated, and improvement of solutions and processes will be proposed. And, of course, we are looking forward to start creating impact through dissemination as well.

Updated: 2013-05-30


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