Back to search

FMETEKN-FME - teknologi

FME-ZEB-The Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings

Awarded: NOK 120.0 mill.

When The Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB Centre) started in 2009, it was among the first initiatives to look at greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings in in a life cycle perspective. The main objective of the centre was to develop competitive products and solutions for existing and new buildings that will lead to market penetration of buildings with zero greenhouse gas emissions related to their production, operation, and demolition. Focusing on reduction of GHG emissions in a life cycle perspective has promoted energy efficiency in the use phase, investment in new local renewable energy technologies, and reduction of GHG emissions from materials used, the construction process and end-of-life stage of buildings. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) hosted and led the centre along with SINTEF, in close collaboration with forward thinking members of the Norwegian building industry. Research and development has taken place within five main areas: WP 1 Advanced materials technologies, WP 2 Climate adapted low energy envelope technologies, WP 3 Energy supply systems, WP 4 Use, operation and implementation, and WP 5 Definitions, concepts, strategies, and pilot buildings. New laboratories, necessary for the research, development, and testing of technologies and solutions that will be used in the buildings of the future have also been developed by the ZEB Centre. The Centre has produced a wide range of results and innovations: Nine pilot building projects, including residential, commercial and public buildings, act as proof of the viability of the zero emission building (ZEB) concept. The pilot buildings have enabled the testing and demonstration of the Zero Emission Building Definition, evaluation of tools, products and systems, and calculation rules for documenting ZEBs. The evaluation of solutions for the energy supply and climatisation in pilot buildings, found that the performance of the buildings is high, but there is still room for improvements related to ventilation efficiency and integration of heat pumps in the energy system. The overall impression from the evaluations of buildings and solutions from a process and user perspective is that the high performance buildings work well. However, areas for improvement were also identified, such as the flow of knowledge from construction professionals to occupants, and temperature control during periods with extreme outside temperatures. On the material and building assembly side, the thermal performance and condensation risks when applying vacuum insulation panels (VIP) in well-insulated walls has been evaluated, providing a background of knowledge for the development of new materials and material combinations. Thermal insulation materials and solutions developed include nano insulation materials (NIM) and aerogel-incorporated concrete with reduced thermal conductivity. Electrochromic and low emissivity coatings have been developed. Reflective foils in floors is another example of an innovative technology that, if used correctly, improves the thermal property of building envelopes. Windows and facades with integrated technology for solar shielding and solar thermal energy collection are examples of innovative products that have reached the construction market. The centre has further developed a tool for analysis and selection of energy systems in the early design phase. Research on the operation of buildings with high energy and emission related ambitions has focused on the analysis of organizational, cultural, and social factors that increase or decrease energy performance gaps in residential and nonresidential buildings. Small actors in the Norwegian construction sector remain skeptical towards climate friendly building ambitions; although many do see that new business opportunities are emerging. ZEB results have been published in close to 1000 scientific articles, popular science articles and presentations, where some articles have received international awards. Almost 20 PhD and 100 MSc candidates are expected to complete their theses in connection to ZEB. The MSc program in Sustainable Architecture at NTNU, which is connected to the ZEB Centre, has included students from 32 countries during the last eight years. Professors have organized international summer schools in China. The ZEB Centre researchers have engaged in a number of IEA and EU projects, and the centre has exchanged incoming and outgoing researchers. Norwegian society is becoming increasingly aware of the need to increase energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Large and small municipalities, companies, and international actors have observed the activities taking place within the research centre and are getting in touch asking for advice and support in their work towards developing and building zero emission buildings and communities. We can clearly see that ZEB Centre activities will continue into the foreseeable future.

The Norwegian Research Centre for Zero Emission Buildings will encompass the whole value chain of market players within the Norwegian construction sector. In total, the companies in the Centre have a total yearly turnover of more than 200 billion NOK and over 100,000 employees. As such, ZEB will represent a historical effort in this area, which will be outstanding also in an international perspective. The research Centre will focus its work in five areas that interact and influence each other: WP-1: Advan ced materials technologies. Development of innovative adaptive, dynamic/controllable, multi-functional and tailor made materials and solutions beyond the state-of-the-art technologies: Nanotechnology, highly insulating materials, controllable, thermally i nsulating materialslow/high thermal emissivity coatings, phase-change materials, shape-memory materials, smart windows and electricity producing materials. WP-2: Climate-adapted low-energy envelope technologies. The new materials and solutions found withi n WP-1 will be developed into new envelope solutions which: 1) Minimize the need for heating, cooling, ventilation and electricity for lighting and 2) Generate renewable energy WP-3: Energy supply systems and services. Development of innovative energy sys tems, infrastructure and services for zero emission buildings. New energy storage technologies, energy distribution systems, and systems for interaction with district heating/cooling grids and electric utilities. WP-4: Energy efficient use and operation. Address the challenge of user demands by: 1) Analysing comfort, cleanliness, convenience, and operation 2) Develop strategies for dealing with these 3) Implement strategies in pilot buildings WP-5: Concepts and strategies for zero emission buildings. Whol e building and planning concepts for ZEB will be developed, including life cycle analyses of emissions and strategies for cost and time-efficient design and construction processes.

Publications from Cristin

Funding scheme:

FMETEKN-FME - teknologi