Cost-optimal net zero energy communities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The objective of this research is to study the cost of Net Zero Energy (NZE) communities of different urban scales and densities, while taking into consideration the local climate and the type of buildings in the community. A comprehensive model was developed for this purpose, with which the cost-optimal configuration of renewable energy-related technologies for an NZE community can be identified. To validate the model, data from two case studies that differed in their climate and building types were used. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the implications of NZE requirements for urban planning. An increase in the scale of a community was found to reduce energy costs, up to a certain point. Urban density, on the other hand, was found to have a more complex impact on costs, which depends on the local climate of the community and the subsequent energy demand. This underlines the importance of addressing the technological design of energy systems at the initial stage of the urban planning of energy-efficient communities, before the urban density, the unbuilt areas and the building types are set.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2432
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Life cycle cost (LCC)
  • Neighborhood planning
  • Net zero energy
  • Renewable energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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