AIDA – Affirmative Integrated Energy Design Action

The AIDA project aimed to increase the number of nearly-zero-energy-buildings, the number of building professionals trained on integrated energy design and the number of municipalities starting to build/refurbish buildings to nZEB levels.

Short Description

The AIDA project aimed to accelerate the market entry of nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEB). This means energy efficient buildings and the use of renewable energy sources, which are both highlighted by the European legislation (e. g. 2010/31/EU). There was a lack of intense actions to spread knowledge about nZEB. It is evident, that citizens are better prepared and more willing to adopt nZEB, if their municipality sets a positive example thus giving them direct access to and experience of nZEB. Raising awareness towards nZEB among local authorities and building planners became a key factor. So, in particular the target group of AIDA were primarily municipal representatives as market multipliers on the demand side, and also architects and master-builders on the supply side. AIDA offered action tailored to suit each of these groups including study tours, operational success stories, presentation of existing tools, active support for municipalities and close cooperation with key actors, such as associations of municipalities and building professionals. In summary: The core objective of AIDA was a widespread market adoption of nZEB, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. So, AIDA had a notable benefit for the target group and contributed to EU’s 2020 targets significantly in enabling a sustainable future.


  • Increasing the visibility of front runners among European municipalities, local authorities and building professionals (e. g. architects, master-builders) was leading to an increased number of nearly zero-energy buildings (new and refurbishment). Within the 86 study tours with more than 3200 participants AIDA offered action tailored to these target groups, such as best practice-learning from operational success stories, presentation of innovative design software and active support for municipal representatives.
  • The Integrated Energy Design (IED) concept is vital for a successful implementation of nZEBs, involving different professions on achieving energy performance requirements. As a starting point to promote nZEBs in Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) or similar municipal roadmaps, such development has been initiated within the frame of AIDA in 26 municipalities to spread nZEBs among European Communities. In addition, AIDA supported 28 municipalities in developing nZEB design tenders and feasibility studies, leading to a widespread adoption of IED and nZEBs in municipalities.
  • Provide training for building professionals on integrated energy design and nearly zero-energy buildings was an AIDA objective. One of these tools presented in the workshops was gEnergy, developed by GreenspaceLive, an e-startup and AIDA partner. gEnergy is a powerful building information modelling (BIM) tool using the EnergyPlus platform. More than 1600 building professionals used this online integrated energy design software within AIDA.
  • 71.6 Million EUR investment were made in nZEBs by municipalities and building professionals involved in AIDA, leading to 171 toe/yr Renewable Energy production, 486 toe/yr Primary energy savings and 1.482 tons CO2 equ. emissions reduction.
  • Contact points for building professionals and municipalities play a significant role at local, national, and international level in accelerating the market uptake of nZEBs all over Europe by providing information and required support to the target groups. Contact points inform about roadmaps, tenders, study tours, tools for implementing nZEBs and find financing for nZEB projects. 20 national and 3 international organisations signed a so called “Memorandum of Understanding”, stating that they are willing to establish an AIDA contact point, continuing with selected AIDA offers.

Lessons learned

  • Study tours are well received by building professionals all over Europe. There is a great interest by the target group in the presented materials as well as the front-runner buildings and their technical solutions. For most key target groups, the best communication channel was direct solicitations (email, word of mouth and personal invitations), either by AIDA partners or partner event organisers. Linking study tours to relevant events such as conferences increases visibility and draws participants from a coherent pool of interested parties.
  • The most important reason for the municipalities to collaborate with an IED process is the lack of (technical) knowledge or the need of expert knowledge to realize the imminent building projects. Despite this interest, there is often no budget available for having an energy expert in the team. The most important reasons for the municipalities not to collaborate are the unwillingness to take action and of course the financial situation which is tensed in many cases.
  • A municipal roadmap is the best option to encourage public authorities to take a first step towards fulfilment of the 20% reduction in CO2 and for promoting nearly Zero-Energy Buildings construction in the near future according to the EPBD directive. Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP) are not the only roadmap frame that can be used to define nZEB actions at municipal level, but any other European or national recognized roadmaps are also suitable for defining these measures.

EU contract number: IEE/11/832/SI2.615932

Project Partners

Project management

Raphael Bointner
Technische Universität Wien, Energy Economics Group (EEG)

Project partners

  • AEE - Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC), AT
  • CIMNE  BEEGROUP, Building Energy and Environment, ES
  • Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES), Energy Policy Analysis Department, EL
  • EURAC research Institute for Renewable Energy, IT
  • Geonardo Environmental Technologies Ltd., HU
  • HESPUL - énergies renouvelables & efficacité énergétique, FR
  • IREC - Catalonia Institute for Energy Research, ES
  • Greenspace Live Ltd., UK

Contact Address

DI Dr. Raphael Bointner
Technical University Vienna, Energy Economics Group – EEG
Gusshausstrasse 25-29/370-3
A-1040 Vienna

Tel: 43.1.58801-370372