Designing, constructing and operating very low energy new buildings.

NEED4B will develop a new replicable methodological approach for designing, constructing and operating very low energy new buildings.

This methodology will be validated and enriched by the experience gathered in a series of demonstration buildings to be constructed in 5 European countries. These buildings will proof the feasibility of constructing buildings with an energy consumption target lower that 60 kWh/m2 year.

The urgency of transforming Europe into a low-carbon economy for meeting climate and energy targets is a fact. One of the most cost-effective measures to meet energy reduction targets, as clearly specified in the “European Economic Recovery Plan”, is to address the building sector.

In this context, the building sector must assume a huge challenge. The EU stock is about 160 million buildings in the EU, while the present yearly rate of construction of new buildings is about 2% in all major European countries.

A strong effort is needed to renovate the existing building stock, but it is also of major importance to act in new buildings for two main reasons:

  • The implementation of advanced and innovative technologies and solutions, as well as associated process and business strategies, are often more effectively implemented in new construction projects where risk of failure is minimised. Afterwards, when successfully implemented, they can be adapted to construction projects.
  • To contribute to the EPDB recast (Energy Performance of Buildings) that establishes that Member States shall ensure that:
    • by 31 December 2020, all new buildings are nearly zero- energy buildings;
    • after 31 December 2018, new buildings occupied and owned by public authorities are nearly zeroenergy buildings.
  • NEED4B is fully in line with the recently published Europe 2020 “ A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”, and in particular with delivering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the field of energy efficient buildings

The proposed methodology will integrate tools and procedures that already exist or are under development, like Integrated Project Delivery, Building Information Modelling, Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Cost and energy performance simulation softwares, providing recommendations and guidelines, adapted to the different type of stakeholders (investors, promoters, owner, users, architects, contractors, public authorities, SMEs, etc.) for the whole construction process. A first version of the NEED4B methodology will be developed at the beginning of the project. Then, it will be refined and improved within a feedback process supported by the experience gathered during the design, construction and operation phases of the demo sites based on a continued interaction with the stakeholders during the whole process.

The demonstration envisaged in NEED4B will have an integral and systemic approach with the aim to boost the replicability through the development of business strategies for ensuring the market uptake and increasing the impact.

NEED4B will establish a close connection among the 5 demo sites in order to exchange risks, difficulties, failures and best practices, aiming to optimize and refine the methodology and develop a replication and exploitation strategy that can have an European impact.

The overall objective of the project is to develop an open and easily replicable methodology for designing, constructing, and operating new low energy buildings, aiming to a large market uptake. NEED4B methodology will be validated and refined by a strong demonstration programme, envisaging the construction of 27.000 m2, spread among five demo sites covering different climatic zones, buildings types and uses, what ensures replicability of the project results and guarantees their impact in the construction sector.

Project objectives

  • Define the requirements, the basis and the environmental conditions for a systematic approach to new energy efficient buildings, theie construction and operation.
  • Definition of a open and integrared methodology, for the design, construction and operation of energy efficient buildings.
  • Selecting of efficient energies and solutions.
  • Design of new efficient energies for buildings using the NEED4B methodology.
  • Execution and supervision of construction work.
  • Monitoring and evaluation throughout the project.
  • Raising awareness, dissemination, diffusion.
  • Business models and exploitation

Business objective

The methodology developed in this project is used to create a standard and global information for all demonstration sites, for the storage and exchange of information.

Guidelines for the management of the interaction between stakeholders in the construction phase and for the design and implementation of monitoring plans for end-user awareness in the use of energy efficiency are created.

ACCIONA main tasks of the Project

Acciona Infraestructuras´ motivation to join the project is to incorporate the BIM in demo sites, as carrying out the energy simulation of the different solution before the design.

Acciona Infraestructuras has spent several years working in the BIM and its implantation in work, as a new methodology based on the collaboration of all stakeholders on the same model. This model is a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a building and works as a large database where everything is linked.

Taking part in Need4B project, we will be able to develop a new methodology which integrates BIM with the techniques of energy analysis and simulation.

This project provides the possibility to Acciona Infrastructuras to demonstrate BIM in different buildings, climates and parts of Europe with their own requirements and legal limitations.

On the other hand, understanding technological innovation as the strategic line of the future and with the idea of continuing their commitment to sustainability, ACCIONA has taken up the challenge of promoting energy efficiency in buildings. This issue it is being considered in the works awarded the company. This strategic objective has increased R & D work carried out in recent years and allowed us to understand that the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency strategies are directly related to the holistic management of the same during the life cycle of the building and if it is taken into account from the conceptual design phase, the greater its effectiveness. For this reason, this project represents a great opportunity to propose a new methodology for integration and validation of efficient construction technologies on each demo site.


Start Date: February 1, 2012.

Completion Date: January 31, 2017


  • Vue-Sur-Mons S.A
  • Fundación CIRCE
  • Özyegin University
  • Université de Mons
  • University of Zaragoza
  • SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut AB
  • D´Appolonia
  • Acciona Infraestructuras
  • DIRCO S.R.L.
  • Derome Hus
  • M5
  • B-Design
  • Ingeniería y Control Electrónico SA
  • Bureau d’architectes Format D²
  • FIBA Holding A.S.

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