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Net zero energy buildings

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International projects of carbon neutrality in buildings


Living and working with an equalised energy balance
Strategies and experiences from the perspective of planners and users

Net zero energy buildings, equilibrium buildings or carbon neutral cities – depending on location and the reasons for making the calculation, the numbers are run differently. The variety of terms in use indicates that a scientific method is still lacking – which is a problem not just in regard to international communication, but also with respect to planning processes as a response to energy challenges. The clarification and meaning of the most important terms in use is extremely important for their implementation.

Since October 2008, a panel of experts from an international energy agency has concerned itself with these topics as part of a project entitled “Towards Net Zero Energy Solar Buildings”. The objective is to analyse exemplary buildings that are near a zero-energy balance in order to develop methods and tools for the planning, design and operation of such buildings. The results are documented in this publication: In addition to the presentation of select projects, it is not just architectural showcase projects that are shown – the focus is on relaying knowledge and experience gained by planners and builders.

Even if many questions remain unanswered: Project examples that have already been implemented prove on a practical basis that the objective of a zero energy balance is already possible today.

- Representation of a comprehensive balancing methodology
- Explanation and usage contexts of crucial terminology
- Energy balancing in building practice
- Implementation examples of zero energy and plus energy buildings
- Typology-oriented cross-sectional views of international projects


Karsten Voss, Eike Musall
2nd edition, November 2012 
192 pages with numerous illustrations, tables and photos
26 x 21 cm. Paperback.
ISBN 978-3-920034-80-5