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ZERO-PLUS project settlement in Derwenthorpe, York, UK

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The aim of the ZERO-PLUS (Acronym of "Achieving near Zero and Positive Energy Settlements in Europe using Advanced Energy Technology“) research project is to search for buildings design for new highly energy performing buildings. In this project, a comprehensive, cost-effective modular system for Net Zero Energy (NZE) settlements will be developed and implemented in four case studies across the EU: Cyprus, Italy, France and the UK.


The UK case study is located Derwenthorpe a 21.7 hectare site west of, 2 miles east of the city centre of York, England. Derwenthorpe is a new highly sustainable residential community being developed by Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust in partnership with Barratt David Wilson Homes.  By completion in 2020 it will provide a community of nearly 500 homes for families in York, offering a variety of housing opportunities including shared ownership, fully owner-occupied and rented homes.


The concept of integrating ZERO-PLUS into Derwenthorpe is to create a sustainable community through a settlement level approach for energy generation to retain the traditional characteristics of the Derwenthorpe homes.


Through the ZERO-PLUS project 3 houses will be built and will comprise two  x 2 bed semi-detached (type B3) with floor areas of 101m2 per property,  and one x 3 bed detached (type C4) homes with a floor area of 130m2.


In order to deliver the design concept, the UK case study prioritises energy reduction technologies focussed at dwelling level with all energy generation technologies deployed at settlement level.


The concept addresses energy reduction in the dwellings through the use of Fibran XPS insulation and the Hive advanced heating control to ensure a net regulated energy consumption of less than 20 kWh/m2 per year.


Energy generation at the settlement level uses two Anerdgy twin B60 wind turbines mounted on masts at ground level, integrated with a 15kWp roof mounted PV array on the nearby energy centre.  The addition of ABB REACT (Renewable Energy Accumulator and Conversion Technology) allows for  excess energy produced to be stored, contributing to the target of at least 50kWh/m2 per year of energy generation.


The design of the UK case study fulfils the three performance objectives of the project:


  1. reduce the net regulated energy usage to an average of 0-20 kWh/m2 per year (corresponding to 70 kWh/m2 per year of regulated energy);
  2. generate at least 50kWh/m2 renewable energy per year, on average;
  3. reduce the full cost of NZE settlements by at least 16% compared to current costs.

At later stages of the project, and after realisation of the settlements, the three performance objectives will be revisited again to confirm they are also fulfilled in practice. 

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Start date - End date

Saturday, 1 April, 2017 to Saturday, 31 March, 2018

Operational date

Sunday, 1 April, 2018

Source of funding


Funding description

This work has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Programme in the framework of the “ZERO PLUS project: Achieving near Zero and Positive Energy Settlements in Europe using Advanced Energy Technology”, under grant agreement n° 678407.