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Next Zero Energy Buildings at Lowest Cost by Using Competitive Sustainable Technology


EU contribution
Total costs
Funding programme
Topic EeB.ENERGY.2011.8.1-1: Demonstration of very low energy new buildings


The NEXT-Buildings project focuses on low energy buildings also called active houses, which are not only buildings, but active components in the overall integrated energy systems. The target is to demonstrate affordable solutions for social housing and revitalisation of town areas. The solutions will reduce CO2 at no or negative cost seen in a total perspective. Targeted CO2 reduction cost can be minus € 80/tonne taking the benefits of lower energy bills into account, to even better figures when national grants are included. It is possible to simultaneously save CO2 and money! Key barrier is the initial investment.

The three demonstrators are Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Lyon (France) and Helsingborg (Sweden). In Amsterdam, an old harbour area close to the city centre will be developed as a climate neutral, water-rich neighbourhood. SPL Lyon-Confluence is setting very ambitious energy targets for their P-Plot building: this building should have a balanced energy consumption calculated in primary energy. The Kvarteret Isbanan area will be registered and evaluated on multiple parameters for 10 eco topics before, during design and in the evaluation. The houses will be built as passive houses and supplemented with renewable energy supply, making the houses active.

The three pilots have a total gross floor area of about 50000 m2. All set the standard for future developments. Within all demonstrations there is a strong emphasis on demonstration of competitive techniques like waste water heat recovery. Demonstrations of ICT-based inhabitant energy feedback systems are included. Existing systems are improved and new ones are developed. A system for neighbourhood load control will be developed and demonstrated.


Project demonstration sites


For first lessons, please have a look at the journal article "Demonstration projects of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings: Lessons from end-user experiences in Amsterdam, Helsingborg, and Lyon", written by Nicolien van der Grija, Frans van der Woerd, Bruno Gaiddon, Reto Hummelshøj, Mia Larsson, Olufolahan Osunmuyiwa, Rudy Rooth and published in Energy Research & Social Science,Volume 49, March 2019.


developed and demonstrated.

The expected impact of the three demonstrators is:

  • 88% reduction in energy use and 0.003Mt of CO2 savings per year
  • 50,000m2 of new build efficient area
  • 366 dwellings involved and an estimated 970 end users engaged
  • 1,500 – 20,000 people reached by dissemination activity
  • 4% return on investment
  • EUR 50 million investment from project partners
  • Key training actions: training of designers
  • 5 technologies taken to market.

The following innovative technologies are also being developed in NEXT-Buildings: 

  • Dual function insulation/photovoltaic building elements
  • Innovative windows
  • ICT solutions.


NEXT-BUILDINGS_Report on market relevant parameters of the intelligent window
(603.05 KB - PDF)
NEXT-BUILDINGS_Report on P plot overall construction process
(2.66 MB - PDF)


Gemeente Amsterdam



The Netherlands


Rudy Rooth

Project data