Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Net Zero Energy Building Strategies

UM LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DEPARTMENT Institute for Sustainable Energy

DESCRIPTION The study-unit targets practicing professionals and project managers in the building industry and building services, to enhance their knowledge and empower them to take appropriate decisions for the design of new buildings or he deep renovation of existing buildings, to be in line with the requirements of the European Directive 2010/31/EU on Energy Performance of Buildings, whereby all new and renovated buildings will have to be near zero energy after January 2021. The study-unit shall cover three main aspects of buildings, namely designing for higher efficiency (building envelope and building services), integrating renewables in building designs and performing appropriate financial and environmental analysis of the final proposed energy efficiency and renewable energies measures for a particular project.

Study-Unit Aims:

- To inform participants about the terminology related to NZEB;
- To acquaint students with regulations, minimum energy requirements and cost optimal values for NZEBs;
- To expose students to simulation tools and provide guidance on interpreting results for attaining NZEB status;
- To propose energy efficiency measures for attaining NZEBs;
- To showcase examples of real near zero energy buildings;
- To deliver cross-disciplinary aspects in connection with indoor comfort, as well as environmental and cost benefits.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Become familiar with the most relevant EU and local legislation pertaining to energy performance of buildings, energy efficiency and renewable energy directives;
- Distinguish between the different types of building sectors and how these can achieve nearly zero energy status for new and renovated buildings;
- Develop different strategies and combination of strategies that can be applied for different building categories to achieve higher efficiency;
- Apply an integrated engineering, architectural and IT approach to produce practical solutions for achieving NZEBs.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Correctly interpret EU directives and local legislation pertaining to energy performance of buildings, cost optimal levels and minimum energy requirements of Technical Document F;
- Quantify the effect of different strategies on the energy performance rating of buildings;
- Select appropriate tools to carry out energy audits, cost and environmental benefit analysis for NZEBs;
- Appraise appropriate renewable energy options for integration in buildings.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts

- Thomas Hootman, Net Zero Energy Design: A Guide for Commercial Architecture, John Wiley publishers, 978-1118018545.
- Andreas Athienitis, William O'Brien (Editors), Modeling, Design, and Optimization of Net-Zero Energy Buildings, 9783433030837, DOI: 10.1002/9783433604625.
- Halcrow Group, SunDog Energy, Photovoltaics in Buildings, Guide to the Installation of PV Systems, 2nd Edition, the BRE, EA Technology, Energy Saving Trust (2006).
- ECOFYS, Planning and Installing Solar Thermal Systems: A Guide for Installers, Architects and Engineers, Earthscan James and James, 1-84407-125-1 (2005).
- CIBSE GUIDE F, “CIBSE Guide F: Energy efficiency in buildings”.
- S. H. Oughton, D R, Faber & Kell’s Heating and Air-Conditioning of Buildings, 978-0-7506-8365-4 (2008).
- W. P. Jones, Air Conditioning Engineering, Online,

Supplementary Readings

- M. Santamouris (Editor), Energy and Climate in the Urban Built Environment, James & James Publishers, 1 873936907.
- Aelenei, Daniel; Aelenei, Laura; Ayoub, Joseph; Garde, François; Scognamiglio, Alessandra, Series: Solar heating and cooling, Wiley VCH, 2017, 9783433030721, 3433030723 (2017).
- Charles Eley, Design Professional’s Guide to Zero Net Energy Buildings, Island Press/Center for Resource Economics, 978-1-61091-823-7, 978-1-61091-765-0 (2016).
- Ljubomir Jankovic, Routledge, Designing Zero Carbon Buildings Using Dynamic Simulation Methods, 2 edition,10: 1138658316, 13: 978-1138658318 (2017).
- Timothy L. Hemsath, Kaveh Alagheh Bandhosseini, Energy Modeling in Architectural Design,9781138889392, (2017).
- Linda Reeder, Net Zero Energy Buildings: Case Studies and Lessons Learned, 9781138781238, 2016.
- Edward Dean FAIA, Zero Net Energy Case Study Buildings - Volumes 1 and 2, 978-1530353255.
- BSRIA/DTI, Photovoltaics in Buildings - Safety and the CDM Regulations, 0 86022 548 8, (2000)
- Bob Ramlow, Benjamin Nusz, Solar Water Heating: A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Water and Space Heating Systems, New Society Publishers, 2006, ISBN 13: 978-0-86571-561-5.
- CIBSE Guides A, B & C.
- CIBSE, Guide G: Public health and plumbing engineering.
- P. Boyce & P. Raynham, CIBSE The SLL Lighting Handbook (2009).

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: Bachelors level in a relevant field or more than 5 years proven experience in the building industry

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Workshop

Assessment Component/s Sept. Asst Session Weighting
Presentation No 20%
Assignment No 80%

LECTURER/S Simon Paul Borg
Daniel Buhagiar
Vincent M. Buhagiar
Greta Caruana Smith
Robert N. Farrugia
Damien Gatt
Daniel Micallef
Paul Vassallo
Charles Emile I. Yousif (Co-ord.)


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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2022/3. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.