In order to have a clear perspective on Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs) in partner countries, the first output (IO1) of the project analyses the state of the art in Turkey, Italy, Spain and Netherlands. 

Four reports have been produced and they are available on the project website in English. Moreover, each partner has translated its report in native language (Turkish, Spanish, Italian).

These documents include the descriptions of ZEB researches, implementations, related literature, to put forward state of current knowledge. The four reports have all the same structure, starting from a general overview on climate change and energy issues in each country and its physical context (climate conditions, geography and availability of energy sources). 

A chapter has been dedicated to energy and built environment with a focus on energy supply and consumption, with a definition of main problems and challenges (impacts of climate changes on natural and built environment as like destruction of natural resources, carbon emissions, heat island etc.). After this dissertation “environmental friendly” (energy efficiency) building approaches have been marked. Before surveying information and awareness trends among people, overall national energy efficiency policy and strategy has been reported: legislations and regulations, primary energy sources and sustainable energy supply safety, regulatory and institutional framework (laws, regulations and performance standards), statistical data about energy and energy efficiency in each country.

The core of the reports is the research made by partners, collecting data from sector stakeholders and youngsters. More than 500 questionnaires have been submitted by youngsters and almost 100 face-to-face meetings were conducted. These figures give the esteem on the awareness of ZEB topic among youngsters and permit to draw conclusions on this activity. 



Turkey ranks lower in the world list in terms of energy consumption, while it is one of the fastest growing countries in terms of energy consumption. Moreover, the built environments, which consume the vast majority of energy, have reached to a great extent in a short period of time. It will be possible to mention that the majority of the buildings in Turkey are insufficient in terms of energy conservation. Similarly, considering that there are no comprehensive measures in terms of energy efficiency in existing buildings, there is a high potential in the building sector to achieve high gains concerning efficiency. It is required to improve the structures and to establish systems that support the use of sustainable energy sources in order to reduce the energy needs.

In terms of reducing energy usage density and foreign-dependent energy requirements in Turkey, it is observed that there is a significant potential in designing energy-efficient new structures, and energy-efficient renewal of the existing structures by using renewable energy resources.

It is of critical importance for the young people, who will produce or demand built environments in the near future, to see the “whole picture” and have an idea of their details, in short, to raise their awareness about “built environments and energy”. While the vast majority of the youth were aware of the relationship between “energy-environmental pollution and climate change”, they wanted to learn more about these issues. Based on the results of the same survey, youth people had difficulty in comprehending the “environments-energy” relationship, they were not aware of the active role of the buildings in this regard, and they oversimplified the renewable energy-building relationship down to obtaining hot water through solar panels.


Among interviewed Italian youngsters, there is a wide awareness on what is the definition of  climate  changes  but  they  are  not  so  aware  and  informed  on  which  the  causes  and consequences are. Survey results also states that in terms of renewable energy they just  know  the  most evident  sources  (solar  and  wind  power)  as  they  are confused on what types of measures and actions can be taken at home level and more in general. Talking about ZEBs and energy efficiency of buildings, there is still a lot to be done: most of  them  has  never  heard  before  on  what  a  Zero  Energy  Building  is  and  which  are  its potentials and benefits. Between professionals and stakeholders, evidences demonstrate two different behaviours: a strong  background  in  energy  efficiency  and  renewable  energy  issues  applied  to construction sector for technicians, engineers, architects working in building designing and construction from one hand. On the other hand, stakeholders with an administrative role are keener to  a  theoretical approach  to  energy  issues:  when  they  have  been  ask  to provide precise and technical elements they were not well trained on solutions could be applied.


Unfortunately, in Spain there are few “Zero Emissions” constructions. It is curious  how, although at university level the importance of protecting the environment through education is widely encouraged, they do not make a priority investment in eco-centric aspects with respect to others.

Everyone has heard about Climate Change and believes that it is a change caused by human activities and an increase in global average temperatures. And they believe that the main reasons for this climate change are caused by air and water pollution, followed by inefficient consumption of natural resources, deforestation, industrial activities and waste and by inefficient use of energy as well as by increasing of population and an unplanned urbanization.

92%  of  respondents  believes  that  climate  change  and  environmental  problems  affect  their quality  of  life  and  that  the  best  way  to  fight  individually  is  to  keep  the  environment  clean (55.16% of respondents), reducing individual use of motorized vehicles and using public transports, using  ecological  and  recycled  products,  improving  water and  energy  savings,  using  energy efficient devices and improving the thermal insulation of buildings. 90% of respondents would like to learn more about climate change. 

86% of the surveys have no idea what a Zero Energy Building is and believes that are buildings that use renewable energy as energy sources (51%).  Only 2 participants believe that they are buildings whose energy balance is zero and that does not depend on external energy sources. 


The efforts for improving the building energy performance are inserted in the broader context of the national and European energy policy, that aims at achieving a cleaner and more independent energy supply. The EU and the Netherlands rely heavily on fossil fuels imports which play an important role in the energy usage of the built environment. The data and information gathered so far give a clear outline of the efforts done in the EU, and in particular in the Netherlands, to improve the energy efficiency of the built environment.  This process follows clearly a strong top down approach, where the drive for change is determined by the top government bodies, and industry and citizens have to adapt to the new standards. The initial input is given by the European directives in energy efficiency (Energy Efficiency Directive and Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) that include goals and aims that must be translated into the Member States national rules and regulations. The European directives give a clear aim but to not specify a methodology for achieving the goal, leaving this task up to the National legislation.

The first output represent the starting point for further development of others intellectual outputs of the “From zero to hero” project and a basis to improve the development of teaching learning materials, as well as enhance the accessibility and transparency of current literature review.