Energy consumption in Japan is concentrated in urban areas with high population densities. As a construction company, our mission is to contribute to solving global environmental issues by pursuing the Urban Net Zero Energy Building (ZEB) initiative, which is a rare type of program, even worldwide. Taisei Corporation can help reduce the nation's energy consumption by pursuing this initiative across the country, based on urban ZEB-realizing technologies accumulated to date.
The following paragraphs outline a new definition of ZEB stipulated by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) in 2015 and its background, as well as Taisei Corporation's activities to promote the penetration of market-oriented ZEB.
The Penetration of ZEB Finally Accelerates in Japan on a Full-Scale Basis
A ZEB is a building aimed at bringing its net annual energy consumption to zero through a reduction in energy consumption, coupled with power generation such as solar energy.
Japan's Strategic Energy Plan, approved at a Cabinet Meeting in 2014, includes the goal of achieving "ZEB for newly constructed public buildings by 2020 and for all newly constructed buildings on average by 2030."
A look at the nation's energy consumption shows that, while consumption by the transport and industrial sectors has been on the decline, consumption by office, school, and hospital buildings has been growing markedly. Japan must promote its building energy-saving activities, which are essential for the nation to achieve its greenhouse gas reduction targets resolved by the 21st Conference of the Parties (or "COP") to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in 2015 as an international meeting.
In December 2015, the ANRE stipulated a new definition of ZEB, which classifies: 1) a building achieving an energy consumption reduction of 50% or more from the standard level as a ZEB Ready building; 2) one achieving a consumption reduction of 75% or more through the combination of energy conservation and generation as a Nearly ZEB building; and 3) one achieving a consumption reduction of 100% or more as a ZEB building.
This move points to the Japanese government's intention of achieving a building energy consumption reduction of 50% or more as the first step before bringing building net energy consumption to as close to zero as possible, in a road map for promoting the penetration of ZEB.Fig. 1
Behind the move lies the fact that the power generation rate is limited depending on locational conditions. In the case of a suburban building, it is possible to install diverse power generation equipment in its spacious premises. Regarding an urban building under a premises size constraint, experts must introduce maximally efficient power generation technologies according to locational conditions, while importantly pursuing energy-saving activities to the greatest extent possible for any power generation insufficiency.
Therefore, as an important policy, experts must continue to pursue ZEB penetration in urban areas containing a predominant number of buildings, as well as across the country.
Fig. 1New Definition of ZEB
As the definition of ZEB for its quantitative judgment criteria released by the ANRE on December 17, 2015, the agency specified the following ZEB levels.
Achieved a Zero Energy Balance on a Single Building Basis in the Urban-Style ZEB® Initiative, Winning Social Confidence through a Series of Demonstrations
Advocating the concept of Urban-style ZEB at an early stage, Taisei Corporation has been developing an effective combination of technologies and new technologies, and established the ZEB Demonstration Building within its Technology Center. After entering operation in June 2014, this building achieved an annual zero energy balance on a single building basis.
Based on demonstration data, in 2015 we independently developed the T-ZEB Simulator, a tool for examining, in various patterns, the net energy balance of the quantity of solar, wind, and geothermal as well as other power generation and that of energy to be consumed if energy-saving techniques are used for a planned building, and considering the effects of location and nearby buildings on ZEB-seeking buildings across Japan.
In January 2016, a cost study function was added to this tool, making it possible to estimate the cost-benefit profile for initial and running costs at different levels in the light of the new definition of ZEB.
Taisei Corporation won an order for the new head office building of Kinki Sangyo Credit Union, which was the first-ever project to which the T-ZEB Simulator was applied.
This building aims to become the Kansai area's first-ever ZEB building, specifically attaining the status of ZEB Ready under the new governmental definition of ZEB, while meeting urban-style ZEB requirements, which were previously thought to be difficult to meet with a high-rise building. Construction of the building is scheduled to be completed in 2018.
In the coming years, Taisei Corporation will promote the penetration of ZEB across the country and steadily accumulate a track record, thereby winning further customer confidence. We are
accelerating our activities under the goal of "Achieving a Market-oriented ZEB Penetration by 2018," the new target year revised from the previous one of 2020.
Head office building owned by Kinki Sangyo Credit Union
- Project client: Kinki Sangyo Credit Union
- Designer: Taisei Corporation
- Location: Chuo-ku, Osaka City, Osaka, Japan
Introduction of Our Own Technology
Technology Proven at the Taisei Technology Center ZEB Demonstration Building
Proved the Effects of ZEB Adoption Technology
Taisei Corporation verified the achievement of both super energy savings and comfort based on its unique sensing technologies and its newly developed light inducing equipment, as well as lighting control technologies based on a new concept of lighting environment. We also successfully gathered and analyzed measurement data on various technologies used for buildings such as data on the effects of: 1) task and ambient air-conditioning systems using heat from a next-generation high-efficiency fuel cell; and 2) power generation based on organic thin film panel-based solar power generation. As a result, it was confirmed that we have achieved ZEB as an advance simulation.
Launched a Demonstration of the Concept of a Smart Wellness Office that is Conducive to Promoting Health, Comfort, and Intellectual Productivity Improvements
In fiscal 2015, Taisei Corporation launched a demonstration of a structure to build an environment for a Smart Wellness Office. We demonstrated a structure that contributes to one's mental and physical health, allowing nature to be felt and enabling physical movement*, as well as equipment and space offering a high level of selectivity. From now on, we will use the demonstration results for office planning and solution proposals.
Joint research project with Keio University