net Zero Energy Buildings
Welcome to sustainable architecture and energy efficient buildings
Welcome to the future of building in Australia
Australian buildings consume 26% of the country’s energy and are responsible for 280,000 tons of CO2 emissions per day. Globally, buildings contribute by approximately 40% to CO2 emissions over their entire life cycle.
The emphasis on the future energy efficiency in the NCC 2022 will be on residential buildings. This will involve the development of enhanced energy efficiency provisions, including an increase in the level of thermal comfort and a whole of house tool for energy consumption modelling.
The global momentum is swinging towards the clean energy industries. Nearly Zero Energy Buildings are compulsory in the European Union since early 2021, while new commercial buildings in the US and Canada must follow these principles.
What is an nZEB?
Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) is a building with a very high energy performance where the nearly zero or very low amount of energy required is covered to a significant extent by energy from renewable energy sources (RES) produced on-site or nearby. In simple words, RES can only cover a small part of a conventional building’s energy demand, unless this demand is significantly reduced. This is useful in particular for regions with limited investment capabilities on large scale plants or with significant difficulties in connecting solar farms with the grid. The latter applies to Australia.
Where Passive House comes into play
The Passive House Standard is a voluntary and clearly defined building performance standard, with criteria are based on sound scientific evidence. Moreover the Passive House Standard embodies an existing, tried and tested implementation of the nZEB definitions, which ticks all the boxes:
- It is highly energy-efficient / has a very low yearly energy demand of 15kWh/m2 of treated area
- The energy efficiency level is cost-optimal from a life cycle perspective
- Renewable Energy Sources (RES) on-site or nearby can cover its energy needs.
The Passive House Standard has been offering a proven implementation of the nZEB concept since 1991 and can be applied to any climate. Design tools, training and quality assurance are available to help ensure reliable performance –thus avoiding any “performance gaps”.
How Passive House contributes in reducing CO2 emissions
By using very little energy, a certified Passive House helps preserve fossil fuels like natural gas and oil. It also makes the use of renewables such as wind and solar a financially viable option: efficient buildings can do more with less, meaning that renewables placed on small surface areas suffice to affordably cover any remaining energy demand. With or without the addition of renewables, a Passive House’s high energy efficiency radically reduces CO² emissions. As such, Passive House stands as a significant contribution to climate protection.