First Q White Paper

Path to Nearly-Zero Energy and Climate Neutral Buildings in Europe

First Q Network has just compiled a report that shows how the journey to climate neutral buildings varies from country to country Looking at the building energy standards of EU members in addition to building projects of First Q members, it evaluates the implementation of the nearly Zero-Energy-Building (nZEB) standard introduced by the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The paper demonstrates the impact of improvements made by implementing different active and passive measures in the buildings planned by FIRST Q members. It then moves towards practical recommendations to accelerate the movement through nZEB and climate neutral building.

Looking forward, successful implementation of the EPBD will play a crucial role for First Q member firms during this decisive ‘decade of action’, now widely accepted as our last chance to avoid the worst effects of irreversible climate change.

In 2019, the world’s leading scientists declared, clearly and unequivocally, that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency. Worldwide, buildings generate nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to Architecture 2030, global building stock will double in area by 2060 with the addition of 230 billion square meters of new floor area, the equivalent of adding another New York City to the planet every 34 days. Yet, buildings also offer the greatest potential for achieving significant greenhouse gas emission reductions, at least in developed and developing countries. Energy consumption in buildings can be reduced by 30% to 80% using proven and commercially available technologies. The EPDB is the mechanism by which significant operational energy reductions will be achieved over the coming years.

JG ingenieros S.A. is a founding member of FIRST Q, a network of European engineering companies with 3.000 staff in 14 companies. Our Albert Artús and Eduardo Ernesto Theirs Rodríguez participated in this research document.