Interactive Case Study Data Explorer Online

Cravezero Pinboard – Take a first look…

Stakeholder related processes

Figure1 Stakeholders’ time expectancy of a nZEB project

In order to be able to optimise existing processes, technical qualifications, actions to be taken and roles must be known and tasks and functions of the stakeholders assigned. The assessment of the process for nZEBs depends strongly on the perspective. Building owners, investors, tenants, the construction industry, providers of energy efficiency solutions and planners have different interests and are involved in different phases in the life cycle of buildings. There is a general lack of understanding, transparency and uniform methods when it comes to the overall process of nZEBs.  Which costs and time horizons are significant for different actors and to what extent?

Figure2: Stakeholders’ influence in nZEB life cycle phases


nZEB Processes

The influence on the process decreases while the costs increase during the life cycle of a nZEB

Download the full report here:

In addition to legal and urban boundaries, buildings are essentially defined by the client. Owners or investors want to construct or renovate buildings for a specific purpose. Also, the buildings technical quality and the comfort standard have to be achieved within project specific budget limitations. Architects and specialised planners translate the client’s ideas and wish into real plans and are responsible for the appropriate execution of the building project. Construction companies and craftsmen from numerous different disciplines are involved in constructing the building.


Parametric models for buildings

Download the full report here:

Figure1: Analysis of the balanced primary energy demand related to the net present value for the different technology combinations for case study Solallen.

Already today buildings can be realised in the nearly zero and plus energy standard. These buildings achieve extremely low energy demands and low CO2 emissions and can be operated economically. For this reason, the motivation in the CRAVEzero project is not only based on the energy characteristics of buildings, but also on their life-cycle costs. However, the broad market deployment of these buildings is progressing very slowly so far, as methods and processes for the cost-optimal integration of efficiency measures and renewable energies are not yet sufficiently described and therefore not yet common. As a consequence – many poorly planned buildings are criticised for the fact that the actual energy consumption of highly efficient buildings is higher than the predicted demand and that high-efficiency standards are expensive and uneconomical. The influence of the user behaviour of such energy efficient buildings is another aspect, which has to be considered to evaluate the impact on the energy consumption of the building.

The identification of suitable methods for the energetic-economic optimisation of highly efficient buildings in all life-cycle phases is a prerequisite for the broad market implementation.

On the basis of the results, the statement is confirmed: nZEBs are economical. It can now be shown that the additional costs of efficiency measures are so low that highly efficient buildings have the lowest life-cycle costs. nZEB measures only have a small percentage influence on construction costs, but can reduce CO2 emissions many times over. When considered over the service life, these measures are usually cost-neutral or even economical as can be seen in Figure 2.

Figure2: net present value (€/m²) relation to the balanced CO2 emissions (kgCO2/(m²a)) of all variants of the case study Solallén

Figure3: Cost performance (€/m²))of the case study Solallén over the whole life-cycle of the building; comparison of nZEB variant with a building according to the CRAVEzero approach


Report – Typology canvas of business models is online

Download the full report

The recently published report “D5.1: Typology canvas of business models” covers the development and detailed description of a methodology for the analysis of business models (BMs) within the framework of nZEBs. With this methodology the CRAVEzero project partners were able to describe, validate and evaluate their own BMs. The analysis comprises a total of 17 BMs. They are bundled and their main characteristics are provided and compared according to the Business Model Canvas.

Figure 1: Life cycle phases of nZEBs and business model allocation


nZEB technology guideline is online

Download the full report here:

Different technologies are necessary to achieve the energy standard of nZEBs.​​ They can be summarised in three​​ main categories​​ (i)​​ Passive Energy Efficiency solutions, (ii)​​ Active Energy Efficiency solutions​​ and (iii)​​ Renewable​​ Energies. All approaches/ technologies are needed in order to realise nZEBs. And all of them play a major role in the CRAVEzero frontrunner buildings!

An excellent thermal insulation​​ and air-tightness of the building are of major importance, which can be seen in the rather low U-values of the building envelope elements in the case study buildings (opaque elements​​ between​​ 0.07 and 0.25​​ W/(m²K), windows mainly between 0.7 and 1.2 W/(m²K)).​​ In addition to adequate insulation, shading, usable thermal mass, natural ventilation and passive cooling possibilities are essential to minimise the energy demand of the buildings.

For the supply of the remaining energy demand for heating and cooling, highly efficient technologies using – if applicable – renewable energies should be installed. In the case study buildings, mainly heat pumps and district heating with low specific emissions are used – in several cases in combination with solar thermal. Boilers only play a minor role (see figure below). In addition and for the integration of renewable energies, in most buildings thermal storages are installed.

Concerning renewable energies, solar technologies and specifically PV are the dominant technologies used in the CRAVEzero frontrunner buildings (see figure below). Both​​ PV and solar thermal​​ are well developed and relatively easy to install on or at buildings.​​ They do and will play a major role in nZEBs as these buildings are only possible with the use of onsite renewable technologies.

A detailed description of the technologies installed in the CRAVEzero case study buildings can be found in the recently published Guideline II: nZEB Technologies available here.

Download the full report here:

Life cycle cost benchmarks of case studies all over Europe

Download the full report here:
The second part of the deliverable 2.2 reports an overview of the results of the case studies analysis, with the comparison of relevant indicators, costs, and performances among the case studies considering the effect of local specificities, different context and use of the buildings (i.e. normalised results).


Demo case Typology Location
Bouygues Green Home Residential Nanterre (France)
Les Héliades Residential Angers (France)
Residence Alizari Residential Malaunay (France)
ATP sustain NH Tirol Residential Innsbruck (Austria)
Kohler&Meinzer Parkcarré Residential Eggenstein (Germany)
Moretti More Residential Lodi (Italy)
Isola nel Verde A Residential Milan (Italy)
Isola nel Verde B Residential Milan (Italy)
Skanska Solallén Residential Växjö (Sweden)
Väla Gård Office Helsingborg (Sweden)
ATP sustain Aspern Office Vienna (Austria)
I.+R. Schertler Office Lauterach (Austria)

Table 3. Case studies analyzed


Figure 1: Life-cycle cost breakdown – average share of the phases

Figure 2 Life-cycle cost breakdown – normalized values.



Life cycle costs of nZEBS – CRAVEzero methodology

Download the full report here:
The EPBD recast (EPBD recast-European Commission, 2010) established that all new buildings have to reach by the end of 2020 the nZEB target set by the Member States (MS). In order to reach the nZEB targets, while keeping investments sustainable, it is strategic to focus more on the operational phase (Moran, Goggins, and Hajdukiewicz (2017).

The scope of the report D2.2 “Spreadsheet with LCCs – Cost reduction and market acceleration for viable nearly zero-energy buildings” is to provide a CRAVEzero cost spreadsheet, implementing a comprehensive and structured methodology in order to evaluate the LCC with a particular focus on nZEBs.


Methodology adopted

A data collection template for the evaluation of the nZEB life-cycle costs has been developed as a starting point for the upcoming CRAVEzero LCC tool. The template is structured according to the approach provided by two main sources:

  1. The Standard ISO 15686-5 (Buildings and constructed assets — Service life planning — Part 5: Life-cycle costing)
  2. The European Code of Measurement, elaborated by the European Committee of the Construction Economists (CEEC, n.d.).

The first reference provides the main principles and features of an LCC calculation, while the second one describes an EU-harmonised structure for the breakdown of the building elements, services, and processes, in order to enable a comprehensive evaluation of the building life costs.

The tool PHPP (Feist et al., 2012) has been used for the energy performance analysis. This tool summarises all the information dealing with the energy-related features of the building components and services and provides a comprehensive overview of the technologies installed.


The European policies on nZEBs

The EPBD, as recast in 2010 (EPBD 2010/31/EU), together with the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED 2012/27/EU) and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED 2014/53/EU) represents the key regulatory framework adopted at EU level to promote an increase of energy efficiency and renewable energy production.


Energy Efficiency Directive (EED 2012/27/EU)

In October 2012, EU adopted the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU. It established a set of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency, at all stages of the energy chain, starting from the production to final consumption. The aim is to achieve the target of 20% of energy savings by 2020. In November 2016, the European Commission proposed an update to this Directive, including a new 30% target by 2030.

The Directive applies minimum requirements and objectives, which are complementary to the indications of the EPBD 2010/31/EU; the Member States are allowed to set more tightening ones. Key measures to enhance the energy efficiency promoted by the directive are the followings:

  • Energy saving efficiency targets for the Member States.
  • Exemplary role of public buildings – article 5 sets binding renovation targets for public buildings.
  • Energy efficiency obligations – obligations related to the previous point are also imposed. For instance, every year starting from 2014, each MS shall refurbish 3% of the buildings owned or occupied by central government.
  • Energy audits and management – article 8 states that MS shall promote cost-effective, independent and high-quality energy audits for all final customers. Also, non-small and medium-sized enterprises shall implement energy or an environmental management system.
  • Metering and billing – good energy consumption management requires that the consumer can easily access to data through individual metering and billing information.
  • Qualification, accreditation and certification schemes, energy services and energy performance contracting, split incentives, online platform.

Although the above-mentioned measures have a higher impact on existing buildings, the application can also improve the energy efficiency of new constructions. In particular, the improvement of monitoring and billing approach as well as a structured energy management of buildings can foster the proper operation of nZEBs and guarantee the energy performance targets.


NZEB Construction Market

The building sector in Europe is responsible for approximately 40% of the total energy consumption. The percentage accounted for residential buildings amounts at 27% of the total. Hence, this sector has a key role in the path towards the enhancement of energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse emissions at EU level. The EPBD, together with the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive, established a set of measures with the aim to provide in Europe the conditions for significant and long-term improvements in the energy performance of the construction market.

The EPBD established that, starting from 2021 (2019 for public buildings), all new buildings must be nZEB. On average, the volume of housing development across Europe amounts 2.8 completed apartments per 1000 citizens (Figure 1). The number of households, at European level, is expected to increase by more than 15% by 2050 compared to the number measured in 2013.

Figure 1: Number of completed dwellings per 1000 citizens (Deloitte, 2017).


NZEB Construction Market

The building sector in Europe is responsible for approximately 40% of the total energy consumption. The percentage accounted for residential buildings amounts at 27% of […]

Continue reading »


A collection of materials and information, to the definition of effective low-cost technology solution sets for new NZEBs and to support the exploitation of renewables […]

Continue reading »

Business Models

There are many business models and often they are closely linked to existing market structures, to each single stakeholder in the process and to policies.

Continue reading »

nZEB Processes

Download the full report here: In addition to legal and urban boundaries, buildings are essentially defined by the client. Owners or investors want to construct […]

Continue reading »


To reduce costs and accelerate processes, and assure the quality of NZEBs the right decisions have to be taken at the ideal time of the […]

Continue reading »


The sole responsibility for the content of this webpage lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.