A net zero emission concept analysis of a single-family house

Aoife Anne Marie Houlihan Wiberg, Laurent Georges, Tor Helge Dokka, Matthias Haase, Berit Time, Anne Gunnarshaug Lien, Sofie Elisabet Mellegård, Mette Maren Maltha

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91 Citations (SciVal)


The paper aims to investigate whether it is possible to achieve a net Zero Emission Building (nZEB) by balancing emissions from the energy used for operation and embodied emissions from materials with those from on-site renewables in the cold climate of Norway. The residential nZEB concept is a so-called all-electric solution where essentially a well-insulated envelope is heated using a heat pump and where photovoltaic panels (PV) production is used to achieve the CO2eq balance. In addition, the main drivers for the emissions are revealed through the CO2eq calculation for a typical Norwegian, single-family house. This concept building provides a benchmark rather than an absolute optimum or an architectural expression of future nZEBs. The main result of this work shows that the criteria for zero emissions in operation (ZEB-O) is easily met, however, it was found that the only use of roof mounted PV production is critical to counterbalance emissions from both operation and materials (ZEB-OM). The results show that the single-family house has a net export to the electric grid with a need for import only during the coldest months. In the next stage of the work, the concept will be further optimised and the evaluation method improved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue numberMay
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2014


  • Zero energy building
  • Zero emission building
  • ZEB
  • Building concept
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Cold climate


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