Towards Development of a Label for Zero Emission Buildings: A Tool to Evaluate Potential Zero Emission Buildings

; ; (). Towards Development of a Label for Zero Emission Buildings: A Tool to Evaluate Potential Zero Emission Buildings. Sustainability, 7, 5. doi:10.3390/su7055071 . Peer reviewed.

The operation of so-called Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB) does not result in harmful emissions to water, soil and air. In contrast, ZEBs produce energy, water and resources. Therefore, the definition of ZEBs in this paper goes well beyond the definition of (Net) Zero Energy Buildings, which focuses primarily on greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels. The concept of ZEB is based on the decentralization of urban infrastructure systems on the building level. The aim is to avoid environmental impacts during the building operation through sustainable production, management, consumption, and recycling of resources. In order to facilitate an easy evaluation of ZEBs a ZEB assessment tool needed to be developed. This paper discusses the development of the general framework, the assessment method, and the ZEB Assessment Tool (ZEBAT), which facilitates the evaluation of the environmental performance of potential ZEBs. The exemplary evaluation of selected case studies from Switzerland and South Korea illustrates the method and the practicability of the ZEBAT for the evaluation of potential ZEBs. The holistic integration of environmental performance factors and their specific environmental impacts facilitates the successful application of the ZEBAT independently from the specific use of a building and its geographical location.