News: E Co. partners with Horizon 2020 on the ZERO-PLUS project
What is ZERO-PLUS?
ZERO-PLUS is a Horizon 2020-funded project which aims to develop and implement a collaborative management approach to the design and construction of near-zero energy efficient settlements, involving technology suppliers, energy efficiency and renewable energy experts and developers who work together from the earliest stages of project conception.
The objectives of ZERO-PLUS are a reduction of energy use in the buildings and generation of a predetermined amount of renewable energy in the settlement, all for a lower cost compared with that achieved by conventional construction methods. The expected impacts of the application of the ZERO-PLUS concept are an improved energy and environmental performance at the building and settlement level, including improved comfort and a lower financial burden on all the actors involved in the process. The ZERO-PLUS approach also aims to help the private sector to comply with national and EU level legislation, as well as increasing profitability by reducing construction and maintenance costs compared to conventional energy efficient buildings.
How has E Co. been involved?
The project has been running since November 2015 in close collaboration with a number of project partners, including universities, research centres, technology providers and communication specialists. E Co’s role in the project is to analyse the market trends in the construction of residential highly energy efficient buildings in Europe, to map the market potential of the ZERO-PLUS project and to conduct a barrier analysis to determine the obstacles to the market uptake of zero-energy settlements in Europe. We then explored different potential options for the market uptake of the ZERO-PLUS concept and are currently developing a business plan to channel all outputs of the project.
Previous work in the ZERO-PLUS project
E Co. has four tasks in ZERO-PLUS, with one remaining to be completed in July 2019. The title and a short summary for each of those can be found below:
1. Market analysis of trends in the construction of residential highly energy performing buildings
E Co. consultants conducted a market analysis of the construction market for highly energy performing buildings. We focused in particular on near zero and positive energy settlements. The report includes a literature review, case study summaries from the literature and interviews with project participants.
2. Analysis of the business case for the application of the technologies and processes developed in the project
The E Co. team compared the costs, benefits, risks & deliverability associated with several options to develop a viable business model in order to identify the type of business that would best fit the nature of the project.
3. Analysis of the market potential within the EU28 for “Nearly Zero-Energy” performance buildings constructed using the concepts developed in the project
This report analysed the market potential within the EU28 for Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEBs) and looks at how traditional contracting processes and technology procurement impacts the construction of NZEBs, and how the successful implementation of the ZERO-PLUS approach would result in significant cost-saving for the whole supply chain.
Ongoing work in the ZERO-PLUS project
4. Business plan
Currently, the E Co. team is working on our final task for the ZERO-PLUS project, which is the development of a business plan for commercial exploitation of the tools and processes developed in the project.
The aim of the business plan is to define the unique value proposition and develop a marketing strategy that will commercialise the ZERO-PLUS concept, with the aim of bringing innovative methods to the construction supply chain and attracting potential investors.
The ZERO-PLUS project has developed a proven methodology for the construction of Near Zero Energy Settlements. The next step in the development of this methodology will be to commercialise the ZERO-PLUS tools and processes in preparation for their exploitation by a service provider enabling developers to achieve predictable energy performance in new settlements at reduced cost.
To learn more about ZERO-PLUS, check out their website here.