From 2020, all new buildings in the EU must be 'nearly Zero Energy" (nZEB). Government buildings will be required to comply with this rule even earlier, in 2018. Any delays will incur higher costs for the owner in the long term or they may be forced to consider a value reduction and compromise the competitive position of their property. This important change is being incorporated into Dutch legislation of the EU Member States, and will eventually affect everyone involved in new construction or large-scale renovations in the Netherlands.

Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings offer opportunities

Royal HaskoningDHV regards nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (nZEB) as a major opportunity for businesses and governments. By focusing on the benefits, we believe that positive business cases can be developed for buildings and (urban) areas. We perform a Life Cycle Costing analysis, whereby Royal HaskoningDHV goes beyond the requirements set by the EU and the Netherlands. When developing nearly Zero-Energy Buildings and upgrading existing buildings, we advise on maximising yields at strategic, tactical and operational levels. This gives you advantages beyond merely having your building comply with future nZEB requirements. You can achieve extensive energy savings and CO2 reductions, ensure that your building retains its value, strengthen your competitive position and improve the indoor climate, resulting in more productive and healthier users.

What is changing?

Many changes will be have to be implemented in the short term to meet the requirements for nearly Zero-Energy Buildings:
  • A reduction in the energy demands of buildings.
  • An increase in the amount of sustainable energy generated centrally and especially locally.
  • Modifications to energy infrastructures inside and outside buildings (the so-called nano, micro and smart grids).

More information, the overview and the explanation of the new requirements can be found here.

What do 'nearly Zero-Energy Buildings' mean for you?

The future policy and the changes offer many potential benefits in terms of revenue. Here are some of the opportunities that we can create for you:
  • Users: smart building designs focusing on the user enable you to create a better indoor climate and lower energy consumption. This results in higher productivity and lower employee absenteeism.
  • Building owners reduce energy consumption and therefore energy costs. A possible energy surplus can be traded. By making your building flexible, it becomes more future proof and it holds its value better. The building has a higher residual value while sustainable solutions provide PR opportunities.
  • Energy companies can install and operate sustainable district energy facilities.

How we can help you

Royal HaskoningDHV uses a 5 step approach to fulfil the requirements of nearly Zero-Energy Buildings and reduce CO2 emissions. Read more about our approach and the upcoming legal changes here.



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Wim Maassen

Leading Professional Sustainability & Life Cycle Performance Design, Buildings

Rotterdam, NL

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