The concept of Nearly Zero Energy (NZE) – ‘Bijna-energieneutraal’ (BEN) in Belgium – was launched by the European Commission. A European Directive dating from 2010 requires all new buildings to be nearly zero-energy buildings by 2021.
A nearly zero-energy building must conform to the following two criteria:
Each country is free to determine:
An NZE building in Belgium will therefore not necessarily mean the same as an NZE building in say Portugal or Germany.
New-builds in the Brussels Region must conform to the following criteria from 1 January 2015:
For buildings in the services sector – offices and schools – other requirements apply, which can be consulted on the Sustainable Buildings Guide website (of Leefmilieu Brussel (the Brussels Institute for Management of the Environment, website in French). Here, the criteria for an NZE building are taken a step further, but this is currently not determined by regulations. Brussels is therefore focusing primarily on energy efficiency and only subsequently on renewable energy.
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