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DIRECTION project end and a smart way forward for NZEBs

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End of DIRECTION as a project but dawn of a smart way forward for NZEBs




After more than four years of working together, the DIRECTION project consortium, composed of 11 partners from five European countries, is wrapping up the project. 


The consortium has successfully mapped out a framework for designing and constructing new buildings with very low energy consumption. However, now at the end of this adventure, the project’s true success will no longer be solely in the hands of the consortium. If the legacy of the work is replicated and enriched on an ever-larger scale it will then be considered successful.


This is why the last few weeks have been dedicated to putting together the findings in an easy-to-use format. The consortium's insights cover a huge area, ranging from renewable energy sources and performance assessments to user behaviour analysis and supporting the next generation of CEN standards. A Best Practices Book is now available online. This book encapsulates these insights and there is also a storytelling video to draw you into the achievements of DIRECTION in real settings. Further videos showcase the demo buildings and explain how such buildings can play a crucial role in keeping global warming below 2oC. A new project brochure is also available online in scrollable or downloadable formats. It features a summary of the project’s key findings and benefits for stakeholders. In the deliverables section of the website you can find 25 reports detailing the strategies adopted and achievements in different areas of DIRECTION’s holistic approach to low energy in new buildings. Much of this material, along with a guide for low energy buildings, is also available on a USB device. Furthermore,  interviews by the project´s experts have been disseminated. These interviews deliver their insights and discuss the market outlook for nZEBs (nearly Zero Energy Buildings) and the challenges ahead in making such buildings mainstream.


The two demonstration buildings used in DIRECTION, NuOffice in Germany and CARTIF III in Spain will, of course, live on and are already benchmarks for other buildings including the Black Monolith in Bolzano, NuOffice 2 and NuOffice 3 in Munich which are moving forward and drawing on the project´s solutions. It is hoped that these ‘live’ demonstrations will help raise the awareness of nZEBs across Europe and beyond in the spirit of the recent COP21 since the building sector today contributes up to 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. The demo buildings have enabled an exploration of a range of pioneering technical solutions alongside economic analysis, all of which are now there for the taking.


Lastly, you can continue to consult the website where all the project findings are available free of charge and you can access news and participate in the discussions of our LinkedIn group.