The Commission is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.

ZERO-PLUS project settlement in Granarolo dell'Emilia, Italy

Share this Post:

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 Italian case study is part of a housing development area already under construction in Granarolo dell’Emilia (BO), located in Emilia-Romagna (44.549 N – 11.452 E). Granarolo dell’Emilia, positioned at 28 m a.s.l., is characterised by temperate and Mediterranean local climate and is located in the Italian climatic zone E or zone Cfa according to Köppen-Geiger international classification (about 2,162 degree days). The area covered by the project is approximately 9600 m(not including public spaces), on which two single-family villas will be built following the guidelines given by ZERO-PLUS in order to reach a NZE settlement. In particular, the total area dedicated to the demonstration case study, i.e. two NZE buildings and close surrounding financed by the ZERO-PLUS project, is close to 2760 m2. The surrounding area is a residential area rich in social services (schools, administrative offices, stores, banks, etc.) and public transportation utilities. In addition, it is close to a public green area.


The new residences are designed to be high-energy efficient single-family. They are villas with a similar architectural and technical design, to establish an energy district. Each one of them has a private access and a private garden useful for improving the quality of the district. In addition, the gardens become a connected area within the district. The villas are located each one in one lot. The total floor area of each villa is about 240 m2 distributed into an approximately rectangular ground sub-lot of about 800 m2. The entrance is oriented to the North-West side of the lot. The accommodations are designed to host one family of about three to five people. Two families can be hosted in the whole small district, representing a typical Italian residential scheme. The standard ground floor villa has one kitchen, one living room, one hall, two bathrooms, three bedrooms, one utility room, and a private garage.


The ZERO-PLUS technologies considered for implementation in the Italian case study are: FIBRAN insulation, WindRail and ABB storage system.


The design of the Italian 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. 


A YouTube video about the Italian ZERO-PLUS case study can be found here.

Award labels

Available link languages

Start date - End date

Wednesday, 1 February, 2017

Operational date

Thursday, 1 March, 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.