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Zero-Energy and Beyond: A Paradigm Shift in Assessment

Sustainable Building Support and Consultancy, Waalre 5581 HH, The Netherlands
Research Institute Built Environment of Tomorrow (RiBuilT), Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Heerlen 6419 DJ, The Netherlands
Academic Editor: Alice Moncaster
Buildings 2015, 5(1), 1-13;
Received: 23 September 2014 / Accepted: 18 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Building Design)
PDF [446 KB, uploaded 24 December 2014]


The world is on the eve of major changes in the way energy and material are used, and the building and construction sector is at the forefront. One of the revolutionary changes is that for 0-energy houses and buildings. Many countries already have some projects established, and legislation is following, first requiring near 0-energy, but undoubtedly this will evolve into 0-energy as basic requirement. Buildings will generate all required energy from within their building lot, from incoming free and renewable energy sources: solar radiation and earth core heat mainly. In other words, there are no polluting or depleting issues anymore related to energy consumed to operate a building. This will change the whole approach in evaluation and optimization of the environmental performance of buildings: while the energy-driven measures for buildings become obsolete, it will be materials needed for this transition that have to become the main focus, as argued in this paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: 0-energy; buildings assessment; exergy; solar radiation; materials; closed cycle; paradigm shift 0-energy; buildings assessment; exergy; solar radiation; materials; closed cycle; paradigm shift

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Rovers, R. Zero-Energy and Beyond: A Paradigm Shift in Assessment. Buildings 2015, 5, 1-13.

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