Implementation of the NZEB Tool in The Netherlands

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Implementation of the NZEB tool

Background One of the successes that came forward from PassREg project was the implementation of the PHPP (Passive House Planning Package) calculation model in the Brussels-Capital Region. A quite easy to use, static calculation model with which insight into the consequences of the design options can be provided immediately, has resulted in Brussels that developments are much more savings-driven rather than energy generation-driven. In the current Dutch political climate of a retreating government with regard to energy legislation, it is very well possible to implement a similar model.

The implementation of the EPDB in The Netherlands is predominantly based on the NEN standards. The commissions that set these standards are dominated by companies, who, as stakeholders, are biased with regard to which measurements are best. There are two systems: the NEN 7120 indicates the energy performance coefficient for new constructions, and a system of energy labelling does so for existing buildings. The government wants to replace these systems by one uniform system for newly build and retrophit, that indicates energy performance in kWh/m2/a, by 2016, when the new EN 15603 comes into effect. From the PassREg project we have promoted the use of the PHPP. Based on the ideas of Gorden Sutherland, who indicated that the PHPP can very well indicate the need for renewable energy that can be generated around the house. His ideas also lead to the Passive House Institute to add energy generations measurements in the 9.0 version of the PHPP.

Activities We have invested in the strengthen relationship with a number of stakeholders, such as the NEN 7120 commission, the insulation branch, builders, the government and local and regional administrations such as the municipalities of Arnhem and Nijmegen, the Province of Gelderland and the association of Dutch municipalities (VNG). From this we have concluded that the PHPP should be used in a wider context than only for Passive House. In consultation with the stakeholders mentioned above, we have chosen to launch the PHPP under a new name: the NZEB tool, in collaboration with renowned publishers in the building and installation branch: SBRCURnet and ISSO. Not only the market for energy efficient construction and retrophit takes it on, also administrations support the tool enthusiastically. The government is intends not to prescribe a calculation model, but to require guarantees for the building performance from builders and installers. New legislation is being developed by Minister Stef Blok in order to allow private quality assurance, and quality testing on actual performance. This is very different from the current practice, in which the calculation is assessed, but only 20% meets the requirements in practice.

We have started to translate the 8.6 version of the PHPP in Dutch in order to further develop it to the NZEB tool, together with the stakeholders, in the context of the PassREg project. The implementation started few months ago.

Result and output The NZEB tool shows that the “market” can calculate energy performance themselves, without “help” from the NEN commission or administrations that is fair to all suppliers of products, excludes nobody, but provides the actual values for the measurements that are chosen. Calculation the performance during the design phase in order to be able to give guarantees is not an utopia any more. The ministry of Housing can overcome the gap between the traditional construction sector the NEN commissions. Private Warranty Insurers, would like to start using the NZEB tool, in order to have capture the new market for quality assurance. The result is promising. Stakeholders are very enthusiastic, and this surely will enforce new dynamics to the energy transition in The Netherlands, and to the rest of Europe!