Center of Excellence in Zero Energy and Resource Efficient Smart Buildings and Districts (ZEBE)
ZEBE Center of Excellence in Research (CER) contributes to energy and resource efficiency improvement in buildings and districts. It consolidates six existing research groups active in ZEBE domain at three Estonian universities in order to build up key competences of CER. ZEBE CER contributes to Estonian Smart Specialization growth area of More Efficient Use of Resources, Smart and more efficient construction of buildings. On European level ZEBE CER contributes to European objective of 20% primary energy savings in 2020 that is one of the five headline targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Research is focused to zero energy, recourse efficiency, and renewable energy topics under three main themes:
- Zero energy and resource efficient smart buildings;
- Resource efficient wooden structures and composites;
- Intelligent and efficient energy management for ZEB.
ZEBE CER aims to conduct research needed for the development of smart buildings, being based on active and passive solutions, more efficient material use and use of more efficient energy solutions, which allow to seek for complete solutions in this area. Expected results can be utilized and applied in construction and energy sectors especially when moving to build nearly zero energy buildings as well as in deep integrated renovation of existing buildings, both being the areas Estonia has already been able to take decisive steps in order to be among key players in EU.
In the three research themes six research groups are working:
- TUT Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) research group, Jarek Kurnitski, Targo Kalamees
- TUT Power Electronics and Demand Side Management (IEEM) research group, Dmitri Vinnikov, Argo Rosin
- TUT Wooden Structures and Composites (WSC) research group, Meelis Pohlak, Jüri Majak
- EMÜ Rural Building research group of Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMÜ), Jaan Miljan
- EMÜ Distribute renewable energy generation research group, Andres Annuk
- UT Institute of Physics of University of Tartu (UT), Martin Timusk
nZEB research group is focusing on research of new technical solutions for zero energy buildings considering both building envelope and HVAC-systems, and design process improvements regarding utilization of BIM and passive measures. WSC research group aims to improve the resource efficiency through wider use of wooden materials by solving critical fire safety and manufacturing issues of wooden structures and composites being current barriers. IEEM research group concentrates its research efforts on the energy generation, storage, distribution and optimal use inside the ZEB. To achieve the highest possible flexibility, energy performance and reliability the power flow control in ZEB will be realized by means of power electronic converters with special focus on synthesis and experimental study of novel converter topologies adopted for ZEB applications. Finally, nZEB and IEEM will join forces to study interactions between buildings and energy system by district scale energy use and generation modelling and management with the aim to develop a novel methodology allowing to assess the building level energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions effects on the total energy system performance.
ZEBE CER is lead by TUT. Contact: Professor Jarek Kurnitski, jarek dot kurnitski at ttu dot ee