PassiveHouse Regions with Renewable Energy (PassREg)

PassiveHouse Regions with Renewable Energy
PassREg aims to trigger the successful implementation of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) throughout the EU, using Passive House supplied as much as possible by renewable energies as the foundation.

PassREg Background
Several European municipalities/regions are already committed to energy efficient Passive House principles (dictating maximum heating and cooling demands of 15 kWh/(m²a) each in new builds) and to covering the very low remaining energy demand in these buildings with energy from renewable energy sources. Along with other best practice examples, the experiences from these front runner regions will help pave the way for other EU regions to achieve the EU's call for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings by 2020.

PassREg Methodology
This project is thus based on European regions/municipalities that either are already front runners with a large number of Passive House buildings or are striving to become such regions (aspiring regions). Through PassREg, the front runner regions that have already implemented successful, cost effective strategies will be optimised and made visible. Lessons learnt supporting the implementation of PassREg concepts through both successful regional models and best practice examples will serve as a basis to be adapted and implemented in aspiring regions.

PassREg directly reaches out to regions and municipalities through its 14 project partners across the EU. Over PassREg's 3 year duration (May 2012 – April 2015), the project aimed to

•    Increase awareness of Passive House plus renewable solutions amongst key actors
•    Make successfully applied solutions accessible within the project regions and beyond

•    Build capacity for quality training of construction professionals in the project regions

•    Stimulate markets for increased availability of suitable products and technologies
•    Boost the number of buildings based on Passive House plus renewables in partner regions
In the long term, this will lead to the large-scale uptake of Passive House solutions in multiple EU countries via the development of national schemes based on Passive House and renewables as a path towards meeting to the EU's 2020 building performance targets. This will stimulate regional economies and the necessary infrastructure, thus improving affordability and quality of the technologies needed and increasing the number of construction professionals capable of implementing highly energy efficient buildings throughout the EU.
Distilling lessons from regional experience
The regions involved in PassREg are spread across the EU and have very different starting points. Regions such as Hanover, Brussels, and Tyrol stand as front runner regions already actively and successfully supporting the Passive House supplemented by renewables. Other regions, known in the project as aspiring regions, have a long way to go and need support. By investigating what makes the varied models front runner regions employ so successful as well as by making their successes more visible, the project aims to help other aspiring regions to become front runners themselves – taking, adapting and implementing best practice examples as well as the lessons learned throughout the project to facilitate the implementation of the EU’s 2020 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive on the basis of Passive House with renewable energy sources.

Learning from concrete examples
Individual projects complement research on the regions in which they are built. These so-called beacon projects, real construction and refurbishment projects built in accordance with Passive House and supplied by renewable energies, are concrete case studie that also stand as shining examples within their areas. Select beacon projects in Italy and Germany will also be monitored throughout the project for building performance.

The 2014 Passive House Award adds further concrete case studies to the mix - exemplary buildings that show the way towards a low carbon future.

Qualified architects, engineers and craftsmen are key to the successful and sustainable implementation of PassREg solutions and form the basis for each and every front runner model. Through the project, aspiring regions will develop long term training strategies based on the front runner successes and adapted to the local situation. The project does not serve to directly develop capacities in the aspiring regions through training activities, but will be given where needed using readily available material such as the Passive House Institute's Certified Passive House Designer and Certified Passive House Tradesperson programmes.  

Quality Assurance
To facilitate EU-wide uptake, infrastructure will be strengthened by supporting the availability of qualified materials, products and professionals on regional markets and by using and optimising existing Passive House building and component certification criteria for application in various EU climate zones. The experiences taken from participating regions along with lessons learnt from the project’s beacons will figure into a set of solutions that will make best practice accessible across the EU.

Project partners: BRE | United Kingdom, Municipality of Burgas | Bulgaria, Municipality of Zagreb | Croatia, Municipality of Cesena | Italy, Dubonetwerk Foundation | Netherlands, Eneffect Group | Bulgaria, IG Passivhaus Tirol | Austria, Latvian Environmental Investment Fund (LEIF) | Latvia, NOBATEK | France, Passiefhuis-Platform vzw (PHP) | Belgium, Plate-forme Maison Passive asbl (PMP) | Belgium, proKlima | Germany, end use Efficiency Research Group, Politecnico di Milano (eERG-PoliMI) | Italy.