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Dr. Matthias Haase

SINTEF, Norway


Talk Title
Research on zero emission buildings - Lessons learned

Talk Abstract

In this paper, the work of the Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB) is described which has analysed residential, commercial, and public buildings in close collaboration with the Norwegian building industry. The aim of the work in the Research Centre was to help to reduce national and international greenhouse gas emissions and promote a more efficient use of energy. Furthermore, it should increase the production of renewable energy, cultivate research groups, increase the visibility of research results, and promote a knowledge-based debate on environment-friendly energy. ZEB has thereby contributed to new knowledge in the field of energy efficient zero emission buildings and developed competitive products and solutions for national and international markets.

Focus was put on the development of

New materials:

nano insulation materials (NIM), reflective layers, integrating aerogel in construction materials

New building envelope components:

Coupled multi-layer window structures which optimize thermal properties and feature solutions with a more climate protected solar shading system, Electrochromic materials and electrochromic windows which offer a dynamic and controllable way of regulating solar radiation transmittance


greater need for operation and maintenance expertise, energy system analysis tool for the early design phase  

Ventilation Systems

A new method achieves optimal design of ventilation systems for ZEBs – with minimum overall environmental impact, ventilative cooling systems for heating and cooling challenges in super insulated buildings

Post Occupancy Evaluations:

Evaluations of the ZEB pilot buildings and the experiment in ZEB Living Lab regarding the occupants' experiences

Providing Renewable Electricity On-Site:

Production of solar cells is energy-intensive, focus on how to make them more effective while the environmental impact is minimised.

Pilot Buildings:

Nine pilot building projects have been initiated, five of these projects have been constructed and are in use, two are under construction, and two are still in the design phase


ZEB has:

• Shown how to design and build zero emission buildings. A building concept that promotes energy efficiency, the use of environment-friendly materials and renewable energy.

• Started the development of new technologies for future zero emission buildings

• Implemented research tools for this development

• Educated MSc- and PhD-candidates for the building industry and the research community.

• Shown the way towards the development of the zero emission society

• The partners in the ZEB Centre are including zero emission buildings in their business strategies.

• Some of the larger cities in Norway have started to implement solutions for the low carbon society in their environmental master plans by looking at the possibilities demonstrated by the ZEB Centre.

• Results from the ZEB Centre are included in a national standard on the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions in buildings.

Way further

• Considerations of greenhouse gas emissions are so far not included in the building regulations. The focus is still only on energy use.

• Near zero energy buildings are not yet implemented, although the nearly passive house standard is in place.

• Local collection and conversion of renewable energy is gradually being implemented.

Further developments are expected the new Research Centre on Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities – ZEN Centre).

Short Biography

Matthias is a senior researcher at SINTEF Building and Infrastructure in Trondheim, Norway. He is an experiences engineer with degrees in Mechanical Engineering (BSc and Dipl.-Ing.) and Sustainable resource management (MEng) and Architecture (PhD) from Germany, England and Hong Kong. 

Matthias has 25 years experience in the field of sustainable energy planning and more than 15 years experience in international research collaboration (CIB, IEA SHC, IEA ECB, EU FP6 and FP7), with more than 100 journal and conference paper publications in the areas of energy planning and the application of solar energy in the built environment. Before joining SINTEF he worked for seven years as a façade and daylight consultant in Switzerland and Germany, for four years as façade and energy consultant in Hong Kong and for four years as associate Prof in Integrated Energy Design in the Master course on Sustainable Architecture at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology, Trondheim.

Talk Keywords
GHG emissions, LCA, demonstration, NZEB.
Target Audience
Students, Post doctoral, Industry, Doctors and professors
Speaker-intro video

The International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy (IAPE’18)