Is It Possible to Build Near Zero Energy Single Family Buildings in Very Cold Arctic Climate?

  • Svein RuudEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Energy book series (SPE)


According to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive recast of 2010 all new buildings in European Union shall be nearly zero energy buildings from 2021 and onwards. However only very few of the countries in the Europan Union have to deal with very cold arctic climatic conditions, i.e. Sweden and Finland. Further, the required energy performance of a nearly zero energy building should be calculated on the basis of a methodology, which may be differentiated at national and regional level. This means that the definition may be quite different from member state to member state. This paper presents how different solutions regarding design of building envelopes combined with different heating and ventilation systems in single-family buildings can meet the energy requirements for nearly zero energy buildings. The main focus is on how the proposed Swedish building regulations for nearly zero energy buildings affects the possibility to build single-family buildings in the very north arctic part of Sweden. The main conclusions from this study is that the building envelopes in most cases need to be improved compared today existing standard and that direct electric heating will not be an option. Further, also with improved building envelopes solutions with extract air heat pumps will have difficulties in meeting the tougher energy requirements, especially in single-storey buildings. However geothermal heat pumps will meet the requirements even with existing building envelopes and even with only exhaust ventilation without heat recovery. Also air-water heat pumps combined with ventilation heat recovery can meet the requirement.


Nearly zero energy Energy performance Arctic climate Heat pump Mechanical ventilation 


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    The RISE institutes Innventia, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Swedish ICT have in 2017 merged into RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB in order to become a stronger research and innovation partner for businesses and societyGoogle Scholar
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    Boverket’s regulations and general advice on determination of the energy consumption of the building in normal use during a normal year, BFS 2016:12 with amendments up to BFS 2017:6 BEN 2 (in Swedish)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Built Environment, Energy and Circular EconomyRISE Research Institutes of SwedenBoråsSweden

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