Zero Emission Building Integrating Sustainable Technologies and Infrastructure Systems

Zero-Emission buildings do not produce harmful emissions. On the contrary, they produce energy, water and resources. The aim of the research project is the development and optimization of new and innovative technologies and systems for building integrated sustainable infrastructure systems, which facilitate the realisation of “Zero-Emission Buildings”. The described research is executed in the framework of the integrated design, of a “Green School” in the Republic of Korea.


The evaluation of the research findings according to economical, ecological and economical criteria will be used for the development, optimization and marketing of the applied technologies and infrastructure systems. The research includes the analysis of transferability of the research findings to different building types (e.g. housing & commercial), neighbourhoods and districts in the home countries of the participating KORANET partners. The concerned technologies and systems facilitate the decentralized production and use of renewable energy as well as the management and local reuse of water and organic waste streams, amongst others for effective pollution control and local food production. By application of the new and innovative technologies and systems and the creation of synergies between the building design, the construction and the different building services engineering systems (e.g. between water -, ventilation – energy and food production systems), a highly resource efficient and productive school building will be realized.


The overall aim is to establish a general framework of “Zero Emission Buildings”, which will allow for inclusion of future technical development and societal insights.

The specific objectives are:

  • To reduce the direct water footprint by up to 100% through on-site Water Supply and Waste Water Management according to the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management through minimization of fresh water demand by approx. 50% through application of water efficient systems, collection, processing and recycling of wastewater for reuse for non-drinking purposes, rainwater harvesting and management for drinking water production and augmentation of freshwater bodies.
  • To design and operate an up to 100% organic waste free building through collection of human urine and reuse as fertilizer, collection of solids from black water and organic waste for fermentation and composting processing, and subsequent local use of thus produced black fertile soil in horti- and agriculture.
  • To attain net zero energy consumption through minimization of the buildings service energy demand, and local production, efficient utilization, and storage of renewable energy.
  • To foster no additional building and service costs (monetary) in comparison with reference buildings through smart and integrated design and planning as well as savings in centralized infrastructure systems and conventional service costs.
  • To integrate food production into the building, with soil based and aquaponic systems in greenhouses, shelves and balconies.
  • To create benefits through integration and creation of synergies between social (didactical and social), environmental (resource efficiency and productivity) and economical aspects (cost efficiency and local economy).

For further information please visit: http://www.zebistis.ch

Principal coordinator: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thorsten Schuetze

Duration 10/2012 – 09/2014

Funding institutions:

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany
  • Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), Korea
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Switzerland
  • The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK), Turkey


This work is supported by funding received from the KORANET Joint Call on Green Technologies (www.koranet.eu)