‘Nearly Zero Energy Buildings’ means a building that has a very high energy performance. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby.

Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB)

The NZEB standard will apply to all new buildings occupied after the 31st December 2020. For Public Sector bodies, the standard will apply to all new buildings owned and occupied by the 31st December 2018.

As with previous Building Regulations there are transitional arrangements in place where buildings are occupied after these dates but work commenced prior to 31st December 2018.

What are Nearly Zero Energy Buildings

The definition for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in the Energy performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD) is "a very high energy performance, as determined in accordance with Annex 1, The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby".

Ireland carried out a cost optimal analysis in 2013 to define NZEB requirements. Part L of the Building Regulations defines the requirements in legislation.

Requirements for Non Domestic Buildings

For new buildings
For all new builds, an equivalent to a 60% improvement in energy performance on the 2008 Building Regulations is required. This means an improved energy performance for the fabric, services and lighting specification. It also introduces a mandatory requirement for renewable sources. The renewable sources must in general provide 20% of the primary energy use, however there is flexibility where the building is more energy efficient than the regulations. This typically corresponds to an A3 Building Energy Rating.

The NEAP Software for Non Residential Buildings has been updated to demonstrate compliance with NZEB and Part L of the Building Regulations. The SBEMie software version 5.5h is now available to the market for demonstrating compliance with NZEB requirements.
 

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For major renovation
For existing buildings under EPBD, major renovation is where “more than 25% of the surface area of the building envelope undergoes renovation”. This will require that the building is brought up to cost optimal level, which is defined in the building regulations as:

  • Upgrade Heating System more than 15 years’ old
  • Upgrade Cooling and Ventilation Systems more than 15 years’ old
  • Upgrade Lighting more than 15 years old.

Further details can be found on the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government website.
 

Requirements for Domestic Buildings

A full review of the public consultation, refer to Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government website has been completed for the building regulations and DEAP methodology.

For new buildings

For all new builds, its proposed that NZEB will be equivalent to a 25% improvement in energy performance on the 2011 Building Regulations. A range of examples are shown in excel versions of the DEAP software available in the public consultation. Key changes to Part L for NZEB compliance include a Maximum Energy Performance Coefficient of 0.3, a Maximum Carbon Performance of 0.35 and a renewable Energy Ratio of 20%.

For major renovation

For existing buildings, it is proposed that major renovation is typically activated under the following circumstances, where the work affects greater than 25% surface area of the existing dwelling:

  • External Wall Renovation, external or internal insulation
  • External Wall & Window Renovation
  • External Wall & Roof Renovation
  • External Wall & Floor Renovation
  • New Extension

The cost optimal level is a primary energy performance of less than 125 kWh/m2/yr (B2 BER) when calculated using DEAP or upgrade of roof insulation and heating system. The Cost Optimal Study was updated in 2018.

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Heat Pump Public Consultation

SEAI in conjunction with DHPLG are currently updating the methodology and calculations for heat pumps entered in DEAP assessments for BERs and Part L compliance checking in dwellings. Prior to implementation of the proposed changes, SEAI are seeking feedback via a public consultation. Submission must be returned via email to the BER Helpdesk (info@ber.seai.ie) no later than 5pm on Friday 17th of May 2019.

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NZEB Workshop

2019 Energy Show presentations

The 2019 Energy Show hosted NZEB workshops with support from DHPLG. The event presented details of the changes to Part L for both Dwellings and Buildings other than Dwellings. Please find below a link to the presentations,

2019 Energy Show NZEB Domestic Session

2019 Energy Show NZEB for Non Domestic Session

 

NZEB in NEAP Workshop

SEAI and DHPLG hosted a series of workshops nationally updating designers and assessors on the changes in the NEAP (Non Domestic Energy Assessment Procedure) Please find below a link to a webinar of the presentations.

Presentations

Call for Case Studies

Nearly Zero Energy Buildings

Do you have and A-rated home?

Has your technology helped a home achieve an A-rating?
 

The recently published Building Regulations introduced requirements relating to Nearly Zero Energy Buildings and Major Renovation. In order to better understand and profile how these requirements are met, SEAI wish to complete a series of case studies on A-rated homes.

We are looking for a mix of new and retrofitted homes that feature a broad range of measures and technologies such as:

  • High levels of insulation
  • High Performance Glazing
  • Heat Pumps
  • Exhaust Air Heat Pump
  • Double Duct Heat Pumps
  • Nanotechnology for Power, Heat and Transport
  • Group Heating Systems
  • Air Tight construction
  • Heat Recovery Systems
  • Demand Control Ventilation

Ten homes will be selected to feature in case studies to be published on SEAIs website and perhaps used in other promotional activities. We will first look at properties from a technology perspective and performance perspective. We will also consider the homeowner experience from an operational perspective looking at energy, comfort and air quality.

Those homeowners selected will be given a €150 One for All voucher.

If you would like to take part, please send an email to info@seai.ie and provide the following details:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • BER number
  • How you would like to be contacted (email, letter or phone)

FAQs

For non-domestic buildings, compliance will be demonstrated using the NEAP methodology. The NEAP Software for Non Residential Buildings has been updated to demonstrate compliance with NZEB and Part L of the Building Regulations. The SBEMie software version 5.5h is now available to the market for demonstrating compliance with NZEB requirements.

Learn More

For domestic buildings, compliance will be demonstrated using the DEAP methodology. DEAP is currently being updated to account for NZEB and will be available Q1 2019.