Towards Net Zero Energy Public Resilient Communities

Completed (2017 - 2022)


In the past, many planners of public communities - for example military and university campuses - have addressed energy systems for new facilities on an individual building basis without consideration of energy sources, renewables, storage, or future energy generation needs. This situation in planning and execution of energy-related projects does not support attainment of current energy reduction goals or the minimization of costs for providing energy security. Experience gained from frontrunners shows that cost effective solutions for campuses or city districts can be achieved through a combination of energy efficiency improvements in individual buildings and advanced energy supply, distribution, and storage systems. In addition to the application of state-of-the-art technologies, this requires a clear understanding of campus or district specific energy goals, concepts for community-wide energy master planning, and business and financial models for implementations of these plans.

The project has summarized the state-of-the-art technologies and concepts for community-wide ‘near zero energy’ masterplanning that consider both power and heating and cooling needs. It has advanced the methodology of the ‘near zero energy community’, to enhance existing masterplanning strategies and modelling tools, and expanded their application by adding standardized country-specific building data on specific building types, and information on advanced energy efficiency technologies and on their performance and cost characteristics.

The scope of the project was to develop the methodology and the decision-making process to be transferred into computer-based modelling tools for achieving near zero energy in public communities like military garrisons, universities, housing areas, and so on. The guidelines and tools developed within the project support the energy masterplanning process and address technical, economic, social, financial, and business components presented in the way that is easy to understand and execute. The outcomes are applicable to public communities in the participating countries.

The project objectives were:

  • establishing energy goals and a database of energy utilization indices for representative buildings and building communities,
  • developing a catalogue of building models, including mixed-use buildings, applicable to national public and private communities and military garrisons,
  • collecting and analyzing best practices of energy master planning with the goal of establishing a step-by-step energy master planning process to be executed using the computerized tool,
  • collecting information on the architecture of advanced central energy systems, analyzing their applicability to different building communities’ needs and constraints, and evaluating these scenarios from the technical, economic, financial, and business perspective, and
  • dissemination and training in participating countries designed for decision makers, planners, building owners, architects, engineers, and energy managers of public-owned and operated communities.

Operating Agents

Rüdiger Lohse
KEA Klimaschutz- und Energieagentur
Baden-Württemberg GmbH
Kaiserstr. 94a
76133 Karlsruhe
Tel: +49 (0)721 984 71 15
Dr Alexander Zhivov
US Army Engineer Research and Development Center Construction Engineering Research Laboratory
2902 Newmark Dr.
Champaign, IL 61826-9005
Tel: +1 217 373 4519


Austria, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, UK, USA