A nearly Zero-Energy Building (nZEB) is a building with a very high energy performance. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy produced on-site or nearby.

A sustainable European society and economy will be based on renewable energy and high resource efficiency. For the housing sector, this implies the large scale deployment of low-energy buildings (so called nearly Zero-Energy Buildings). Indeed, the European legislation (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, EPBD) makes nZEBs a standard by 2020. The technology is already available and proven; however, the large-scale uptake of nZEB construction and renovation will be a big challenge for all market actors and stakeholders involved. To start with, there is a substantial gap in reliable data on current market activities. This makes it difficult for policy makers to evaluate the success of their policies and measures.

The European Union and Member States have defined specific and ambitious targets for the transition towards nZEBs. A number of measures and policy instruments have already been implemented. However, additional activities and a clear strategy are needed to achieve these targets by 2020 and beyond. Such a strategy has to be defined and continuously adapted according to the monitoring results of the transition towards nZEBs. Thus, there is a need for a well-based, comprehensive database of current market activities and an assessment of the gap between real market activities on one hand and the targets on the other hand.

ZEBRA2020 covered seventeen European countries and almost 90% of the European building stock (EU & EEA). These countries have different climatic conditions, polices and economic capabilities.


georgraphical focus and coverage

ZEBRA2020 covered almost 90% of the EU/EEA building stock

ZEBRA2020 aimed to deliver recommendations and strategies that accelerate the market uptake of nZEBs while having a deep understanding of local contexts. A cross-border cooperation allowed to:

  • Learn from best-practice front-runners, for both new buildings and renovations;
  • Support transnational exchange of experience made on nZEBs so far;
  • Encourage international exchange among the involved target groups and key actors;
  • Creates opportunities for dialogue between national stakeholders and the establishment of strong exchange programmes;
  • Translate the diversity characterizing each Member State into replicable knowledge.

ZEBRA2020 covered 88.6 % of the European building stock and 89.1% of the European population (EU28 & Norway).

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