North European Understanding of Zero Energy/Emission Buildings

Anna Joanna Marszal, Julien S. Bourrelle, Jyri Nieminen, Björn Berggren, Arild Gustavsen, Per Heiselberg, Maria Wall

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


The worldwide CO2 emission mitigation efforts, the growing energy resource shortage and the fact that buildings are responsible for a large share of the world’s primary energy use drives research towards new building concepts, in particular Zero Energy/Emission Buildings (ZEBs). Unfortunately, the lack of a common understanding for this new type of building results in most countries to have their own, unique approaches. This paper presents the northern (Danish, Finish, Norwegian and Swedish) understanding of ZEBs and gathers together information related to ZEBs in these countries. Generally, we may observe a correlation between the zero energy/emission building approach adopted by a country and this particular country’s utility grid characteristics. Moreover, it is to be noted that the ZEB concept is not well defined at the national level in northern Europe and that all of the participating countries are still to adopt a national definition for these types of buildings. This results often in more than one understanding of ZEBs in each country. This study provides a concise source of information on the north European understanding of zero energy/emission buildings. It puts forward a number of similarities among the four studied approaches while highlighting that each country adopts a slightly
different ZEB concept depending on its particular realities. This work may be viewed as a useful input to the coordination of sustainable building research in northern Europe and as a good source of information on different possible approaches towards ZEBs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZero Emission Buildings : Renewable Energy Research Conference 2010 : June 7th - 8th 2010
EditorsMatthias Haase, Anne Grete Hestnes
Number of pages12
PublisherTAPIR Akademisk Forlag
Publication date2010
ISBN (Electronic)9788251926232
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventRenewable Energy Research Conference 2010 : Zero Emission Buildings - Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 7 Jun 20108 Jun 2010


ConferenceRenewable Energy Research Conference 2010 : Zero Emission Buildings

Bibliographical note

Online publication.


  • Zero Energy Building
  • Zero Emission Building
  • Nordic Countries
  • Requirements
  • Multi-Disciplinary

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