Published February 14, 2023 | Version 1.0
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Understanding Positive Energy Buildings and Neighbourhoods - towards a common definition

  • 1. Eurac Research
  • 2. RMIT Europe
  • 3. Ca' Foscari University of Venice
  • 4. Joanneum Research
  • 5. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • 6. Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • 7. Catalonia Institute for Energy Research


Positive Energy Buildings (PEBs) represent a step forward from Net Zero Energy Buildings. In particular, they shall contribute by decarbonizing the built environment, including surrounding buildings, exchanging energy among them or with the grid. Thus, they can reduce the energy grid congestion and provide a flexible energy asset that allows buildings and energy communities to act as an integrated part of the energy system, while ensuring healthy and comfortable indoor environment, embracing occupants’ diversities and needs, supporting users’ energy-related practices and their flexibility and minimizing their own carbon footprint. In this direction, a consolidated definition is needed in order to enable the design, assessment, and documentation of PEBs in different contexts, climates, cultures, and markets. This paper aims to present a joint understanding of the essence and benefits of Positive Energy Buildings applied to the residential sector, as discussed within the three sister projects Cultural-E ( led by Eurac Research), EXCESS ( led by Joanneum Research), and syn.ikia ( led by NTNU), which were funded under the Programme H2020-EU. topic2. The joint work also led to the identification of barriers and drivers for an increased acceptance and adoption of PEBs and to the definition of a list of recommendations for policy makers.


PEB Discussion paper_final version.pdf

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syn.ikia – Sustainable Plus Energy Neighbourhoods 869918
European Commission
CULTURAL-E – Climate and cultural based design and market valuable technology solutions for Plus Energy Houses 870072
European Commission
EXCESS – FleXible user-CEntric Energy poSitive houseS 870157
European Commission