Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP) is renovating its headquarters in Zagreb to achieve the nearly zero-energy buildings – nZEB standard. It intends to become an example of all the benefits it promotes – decarbonization, digitalization, energy efficiency, renewable energy sources.
The first phase of the EIHP office building renovation, with the aim of achieving the nZEB standard is part of a larger project, Establishment of the National Training Center for Almost Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB), EIHP said.
The center will operate in the renovated building, for which EUR 1.6 million in grants from the Energy and Climate Change program have been secured as part of the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism for the period 2014-2021. The project started in May 2021 and it is scheduled to be completed in April 2024.
The renovation is envisaged in two phases
The building’s chief designer Margareta Zidar explained that its alignment with the nZEB standard would be carried out in two phases. The institute will implement a seven times more efficient lighting system while 30% of energy consumption is set to be covered by on-site photovoltaic panels with an overall capacity of 50 kW. The structure will get a new heating, cooling and mechanical ventilation system including heat recovery.
Next, all technical systems will be digitalized. They will be operated automatically and adjust to space occupancy and comfort parameters: temperature, CO2 concentration and light intensity. Energy exchange with the grid will be enabled.
“According to our analyses, we will have 65% lower energy costs in the first phase,” Zidar said
Energy consumption could be reduced by as much as ten times
The second phase is the installation of a water-to-water heat pump that will use underground water as the source and with which the institute will generate almost all the necessary energy on-site.
The institute’s analyses show that energy consumption could be reduced by as much as ten times, to about 32 MWh per year, Zidar said.
Jakšić: The goal is to become a demonstrative example of green and digital transition
EIHP CEO Dražen Jakšić said the management wants to exemplify the path towards decarbonization in the building sector. The main goal is to establish a national training center and demonstrate the green and digital transition, he added.
The national training center is an educational program for key stakeholders in the nZEB renewal process. It is scheduled to begin in late September. Training will be conducted with the project partner, the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the University of Zagreb.
Vesna Bukarica, nZEB project manager, pointed out that the pilot renovation project is aimed at demonstrating the benefits of renovation according to the nZEB standard, but also the issues that occur in implementation.