Evaluation Dutch final nZEB requirements for University buildings


  • Mike van Osta Royal HaskoningDHV
  • Wim Maassen Royal HaskoningDHV/Eindhoven University of Technology




nZEB Netherlands, Energy, University Buildings, Feasibility, Case Studies


The need for (nearly) Zero Energy Buildings (nZEBs) in the Netherlands becomes increasingly important due to climate change, increasing energy prices, scarcity of fossil fuels and increasing geopolitical conflicts. In line with the EU EPBD, from January 2021 new buildings, including hospital and university buildings, have to fulfill more strict energy requirements. Besides that, also the energy requirements for existing buildings will become stricter to realize an energy neutral built environment by 2050. On request of the Dutch Universities (WO) and the Dutch Academic Medical Centre’s (UMC), the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) assigned Royal HaskoningDHV to study the effect of the nZEB requirements on this real estate of the sector. The feasibility of the final nZEB requirements has been assessed for eight representative, recently designed and realized university buildings. The results show that:

· Compared to the provisional nZEB requirements it has become less difficult to fulfil the final nZEB requirements and sometimes even less difficult than using the former method (NEN 7120) and requirements (EPC);

· Five of eight university buildings comply with all nZEB requirements and three buildings do not comply with the nZEB requirement on primary energy (BENG 2);

· Effective and necessary measures in general are: good thermal isolation, energy efficient lighting with daylight and occupancy control, ventilation with heat recovery and CO2/occupancy control, Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage with Heat Pumps and local PV solar panels.

Although the nZEB requirements are feasible, organizations should keep in mind that fulfilling these requirements for only their new buildings is not enough to meet the 95% CO2 emission reduction target in line with the Paris Climate agreement in 2050. A roadmap with all measures to reach this target, including the existing buildings, should prevail when making design and energy transition decisions for the campus energy infrastructure and each building.




How to Cite

van Osta, M., & Maassen, W. (2022). Evaluation Dutch final nZEB requirements for University buildings. CLIMA 2022 Conference. https://doi.org/10.34641/clima.2022.320

Conference Proceedings Volume