Managing the delivery and commissioning of nearly zero-energy building projects

Mikko Kantola

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


    EU has set ambitious goals to reduce CO2 emissions in the future. As a part of these goals, according to the two directives (EPBD and RES), all new buildings have to be nZEB buildings after the year 2020. Renewable on-site energy and high energy efficiency are distinctive measures for the nZEB definition. In the northern climate zone, the technical features to achieve those two goals are thick insulation, air-tight envelope, state-of-the-art building services, and renewable energy management systems such as solar PV-panels and ground source heating. The dissertation investigates the risks and challenges related to the fast paced transition period to the nZEB directives. In addition, solutions and counter-measures to the discovered challenges and risks are suggested. Four types of research methods were used in the study. Literature review was the source of inductive reasoning yielding many of the results. Background study on renewable energy prices was also conducted using price data gathering via Internet and phone. Finally, the major part of the findings yielded from four interviews and two expert brainstorming workshops. In the context of the study, ground source heating, wood chip heating, and biogas energy had lower life-cycle costs than a traditional district heating and grid electricity combination. The price of renewable energy and nZEB technology is a major issue, but the life-cycle cost of the nZEB buildings to be built in the 2020s and 2030s will most probably be determined through quality factors. In those projects the main concern of the experts was the management of quality. At the moment the competence level of designers, constructors, and owners was considered insufficient to cope with the transition. Training, lobbying, and official designer competence requirement are offered as part of the solution. Modern project delivery systems enhancing collaboration, such as CM At-Risk and Integrated Project Delivery, and procurement options, such as Competitive Dialogue and Competitive Negotiated Procedure, were found to be highly compatible with nZEB technology. Compared to the traditional project delivery and contracting efforts, more experts are attached to the project from its early stages and throughout the project with the modern procedures. Commissioning quality assurance was found as a useful asset to nZEB project management. Additionally, a commissioning process with specific nZEB alterations was developed in the study.
    Translated title of the contributionTuotannon hallinta ja toiminnan varmistaminen lähes nollaenergiarakennusprojekteissa
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor's degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Puttonen, Jari, Supervising Professor
    • Saari, Arto, Thesis Advisor
    Print ISBNs978-952-60-6338-6
    Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6339-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


    • nearly zero-energy building
    • commissioning
    • project delivery system
    • IPD
    • renewable energy

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