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The international conference NET/NEARLY ZERO ENERGY BUILDINGS: TODAY’S ACHIEVEMENTS, OUTLOOK FOR A NEAR FUTURE is proposed as a special opportunity for updating and understanding of the subject of the nearly Zero- and Net Zero-Energy Buildings. A widely debated theme, but rarely done with the necessary methodological rigor. For this debate to be truly useful to designers, it is essential to involve all operators in the construction industry in this growing perspective. The European Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings requires that all new buildings are nearly zero-energy buildings within seven years. Moreover, it stimulates a process of transformation in renovated buildings towards nearly zero-energy buildings. This represents a challenge while at the same time, a very important opportunity to ensure sustainable growth in the construction industry. The conference, organized by The Innovation Cloud and curated by the end-use Efficiency Research Group (eERG) of the Politecnico di Milano, is addressed to all operators in the construction industry, interested in participating as the front runners in this important juncture. The conference also aims at combining methodological rigor and practicality. On the one hand, the conference proposes a reflection on the theme of nearly zero-energy buildings, comparing and discussing the latest and most interesting experiences and approaches developed in different international contexts; on the other hand, it shows selected examples of zero energy buildings constructed in Italy, in order to share project ideas and technical issues. In addition, the ceremony of the prestigious "European GreenBuilding Award" established and conducted by the Joint Research Center based in Ispra, will be held during the conference. All the ten European buildings which have won the 2013 prize will be presented and will be rewarded.


The international conference "NET/NEARLY ZERO ENERGY BUILDINGS: TODAY’S ACHIEVEMENTS, OUTLOOK FOR A NEAR FUTURE" focuses on future priorities and challenges that the building sector will face in the coming years given the upcoming regulatory deadlines. By 31 December 2020, in fact, all new buildings must be "nearly zero-energy buildings"; for new public buildings this target is anticipated until 31 December 2018. The constraints that the legislation imposes are particularly stringent for existing public housing:  since 1 January 2014, 3% of the floor area of ​​public buildings will have to be refurbished every year. In accord with this, the conference will host the intervention of Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute, who will present the refurbishment project of the Empire State Building, the historic symbol of U.S. public housing aiming at maximizing its energy efficiency. The conference, which will last the whole day, starts with the identification of a clear and effective framework for defining a "zero-energy building", as formalized in the integrated project SHC Task40/ECBCS Annex52 of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and in the European project Entranze. Later on, the European project PassREg, will present some examples of support policies of the construction of new buildings in accordance with the German Passivhaus concept that have spread on to a regional scale. Then, the Integrated Design approach will be introduced according to the European project MaTrID - a proven approach for achieving high-performance buildings with a good indoor environment which does not  sacrifice architectural quality or result in excessive costs. Moreover, the new “European GreenBuilding / Integrated Design Award" will be officially presented. This award is dedicated to the outstanding application of the integrated design approach in non-residential buildings. Finally, the technical features and the monitoring set-up of a zero-energy house designed to ensure high levels of thermal and visual comfort and built at the foot of the Etna Volcano will be presented in detail.

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Salvatore Carlucci
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