Jarek Kurnitski

Adjunct Professor

Research units & titles

Artistic and research interests

Jarek Kurnitski, adjunct professor at Aalto university, operates his research group of Nearly Zero Energy Buildings NZEB at Aalto and Tallinn University of Technology, where he is full professor and head of Civil engineering and Architecture Department. He is the leader of Estonian Center of Excellence in Research ZEBE, Zero energy and resource efficient smart buildings and districts operating 2016-2022. Before the professorship Jarek worked for SITRA, the Finnish Innovation Fund, where he had the main responsibility to conduct the Energy Programme 2009–2012.

Jarek is editorial board member of Energy & Buildings and Building Physics scientific journals as well as The REHVA European HVAC Journal that are leading international scientific and professional journals in the domain. Since May 2012 Jarek Kurnitski was elected to become a vice-president of REHVA, Federation of European Heating and Air-Conditioning Associations, and in 2016 he was reelected for serving term till May 2019. He has been known from a leading role in the preparation of technical definitions and system boundaries for nearly zero energy buildings. In REHVA, the European professional HVAC organization, he is the chair of REHVA Technology and Research Committee where he currently chaired REHVA Task Force on Heat Recovery Residential Ventilation resulting in European Guidebook in 2018.

Jarek has been deeply involved in the work to improve the energy efficiency of the built environment in two countries, he has developed energy calculation frames for present Estonian and Finnish energy performance regulations. Jarek has been working in expert groups of CEN, WHO, CIB, ISIAQ and REHVA, preparing international evidence based guidelines, standards and textbooks for healthy, comfortable and energy efficient buildings. Some examples are the preparation of EPBD 1st and 2nd generation standards in technical committees CEN TC 156, TC 89, TC371 and TC228, and WHO guidelines for indoor air quality.

As one of leading European experts in energy performance of buildings, he has recognized with scientific awards from professional associations SCANVAC (2000), REHVA (2005), and Estonian state research award (2018), and his list of publications includes more than 450 items.

Research area:

  • Energy performance and indoor climate analysis of buildings and systems
  • Low energy and nearly zero energy buildings
  • Microbial growth and moisture safety aspects in buildings
  • Innovative HVAC and energy systems and building simulation
  • Technical definitions for NZEB buildings and energy calculation frames for regulation
  • Sustainability assessment criteria and methods for buildings and construction

Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Science (Technology), Teknillinen korkeakoulu

  • Master of Science (Technology), Teknillinen korkeakoulu


  • Nearly zero energy buildings

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