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The adopted revision of the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) requires that by 2028 all newly-constructed buildings will be zero emission (ZEB, Zero Emission Building), and all existing buildings will have to become zero emissions by 2050. Such obligations will concern all residential and not-residential buildings (with some exceptions) and will provide for the achievement of challenging energy classes: residential buildings will have to reach class E by 2030 and class D by 2033; the other buildings, including those owned by public bodies, class E from 2027 and class D from 2030.

The directive requires the Member States to present national plans for the energy requalification of buildings, leaving 15% of the most energy-intensive ones in the lowest energy class. According to Istat data, there are approximately 1.8 million residential buildings in Italy in class G out of a total of 12 million.

The expected exemptions will be able to mitigate the impact of this obligation, but the effects of the directive will be really important in countries like Italy. Here a large part of the residential building stock was built before 1991 and the deep renovation of the older buildings would require significantly longer times than those expected at the European level, with higher costs.

At the same time, the increasing diffusion of renewable energy sources and the electrification of energy uses introduce urgent issues concerning the optimization of hybrid systems, the use of multi-source heat pump systems, different types of energy storage (including the use of new energy carriers such as hydrogen), in the context of an ever-increasing decarbonisation of buildings.

In this context, it is suitable to investigate, through the contribution of wide-ranging analysis and more specialized studies, the opportunities provided by integrating technologies, systems, and building design in the transition from NZEB to ZEB, also considering a better internal environment quality.

Based on these items, the 53rd AiCARR International Conference will present contributions of interest to the HVAC sector, relating to innovative design approaches, new monitoring and control systems, new components and systems, with related insights into their impact on energy consumption, comfort (thermal-hygrometric, acoustic, visual, air quality) and on the healthiness of internal environments.

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