ARMINES, acteur de l'innovation par la recherche partenariale | Première structure française de recherche orientée vers les entreprises, adossée à 48 centres de recherche

A-ZEB: towards affordable Zero Energy Buildings in Europe

At the cutting edge of research on the Zero Energy Home for several decades, the MINES ParisTech - ARMINES Centre for Energy efficiency of Systems (CES) takes part in the European consortium A-ZEB, focusing on lifecycle cost reduction in the building sector in order to fulfill the requirements of the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.




Zero energy but not zero cost

Europe takes a step further towards Zero Energy Buildings. According to the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), by the end of 2018, all new public buildings shall be Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings (NZEBs) – all new buildings, whether public or private, by 2020 – a challenge for the continent with a diversity of climates, construction typologies, social contexts and cultures. The potentially high cost of adapting their respective standards urges the EU countries to explore the opportunities of cost reduction in all stages and areas of the life-time of a construction project.

European researchers and industrials unified for energy efficiency

To meet this challenge, a European consortium led by DNA in the Netherlands will soon be funded by Horizon 2020, the European Union’s programme for research and innovation. The project will aim at developing for the various European climate zones a general methodology to reduce the cost of designing and constructing new NZEBs and their overall life-cycle cost, including a framework of tested strategies and technologies from which designers, builders and urban planners may choose the combination appropriate to the context. The gained and consolidated knowledge and experience will be disseminated in the form of market-ready solutions to the widest possible EU audience and inspire stakeholders to take up new NZEB with RES (Renewable Energy Systems) concepts and implement the cost-effective solutions. The project will facilitate frontrunners and innovators, from policy-makers to progressive contractors who help transform the building sector towards a sustainable industry, with ready-to-use material and strategies to influence their different target groups.

Application Fields 

A-ZEB Application fields

A strong expertise in simulation at the MINES ParisTech - ARMINES Centre for Energy efficiency of Systems

For over 30 years, the Centre has worked on:

  • thermal modelling of buildings and design tools (software developer of the energy simulation tool COMFIE),
  • on site monitoring (solar estate, bioclimatic school, social housing, etc.),
  • life cycle assessment (software developer of the Building LCA tool EQUER),
  • renewable energies and new technologies (transparent insulation, photovoltaic, advanced glazing).

In this context, the MINES ParisTech - ARMINES Centre for Energy efficiency of Systems will contribute to develop multi-criteria optimization tools for energy performance, environmental indicators and cost. Their expertise in life cycle assessment will benefit the case studies, allowing the optimization tools to be tested. The links with the construction industry will help disseminating results through software distribution and seminars.

In the long run, A-ZEB will contribute to improving the environmental performance of buildings and encourage further research in the field.


Key words

Horizon 2020, Europe, ARMINES, ENSTA ParisTech, energy, research, energy efficiency, energy systems, thermodynamics, thermics, building thermics, processes, CO2 capture, life-cycle analysis, control of energy demand.

euflag  This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 754174.



Bruno Peuportier
ETB Team (Eco-conception et thermique des bâtiments) 
Centre for Energy efficiency of Systems 
MINES ParisTech - Armines
Tel: 00 33 1 40 51 91 51


Consortium members

The project is coordinated by DNA (The Netherlands). Other partners are: TECNALIA, VISESA and OHL Construcción (Spain), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), ARMINES (France), the Passive house Institute (Germany), and Oberon Konzeptbau (Bulgaria). Potential users of the results have expressed their interest in the project and will be contacted to exchange on the performed research.



30 months (01/06/2017 - 30/11/2019)


EU contribution

Consortium: 1 979 222 €
MINES ParisTech - ARMINES: 252 040 €


For more information

Link to the A-ZEB web site
Link to the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme



About the MINES ParisTech - ARMINES Centre for Energy efficiency of Systems (CES)


The Centre for Energy efficiency of Systems (CES) focuses on improving the energy efficiency of complex systems (mainly relating to buildings, industrial processes and transport). Beyond energy efficiency, other requirements such as costs, compactness, waterproofness, flexibility and controllability are taken into consideration. 
CES is divided in 5 research groups, each developing methodologies adapted to different types of energy systems. The Centre is equipped with a 1000 m2 technology platform allowing to achieving proofs of concept up to TRL4. It coordinates an industrial chair and has developed a large number of strong collaborations with the socio-economic world (with over 100 research contracts per year).

Visit the team's web page Eco-conception et thermique des bâtiments