Participants try out new methodology in first AZEB Summerschool

On August 28 & 29 2018 the first edition of the AZEB Summerschool took place in The Netherlands, organized for Dutch stakeholders by AZEB partner and coordinator DNA in de Bouw.

It was a try-out to make the first version of the AZEB methodology available to a wider public through a comprehensive training program. Participants practiced using the AZEB methodology and the interest was high. The framework that was developed within the AZEB project to organize and structure all relevant topics was received positively in the training.

This first version of the step-by-step methodology to develop affordable zero energy buildings that create more value with less resources, is based on many best practices from organisations throughout Europe. These best practices are on different relevant subtopics, like for example setting performance indicators, design principles, costing and value engineering. The beautiful, small-scale location in a rural area ensured a suitable sustainable atmosphere for the training: much work could be done outside with lovely organic appetizers in the warm late summer sun.

High diversity of interested participants

The interest for this first serious dissemination of the complete AZEB methodology was high: the training was full with 15 participants and a waiting list already. Several municipalities, a housing corporation, different architects and advisors joined the course. This diversity of participants proved to be a success factor for the training, because it provided for many different viewpoints on the learning material. What also worked well, was the variation between interactive presentations from the five involved trainers and the participants actively practising with different tools and processes in an exemplary case.

AZEB summerschool

Client journey as the core of the methodology

The framework developed within the AZEB project to organize the methodology, was received well by the participants. At the core of this framework is the client journey, says AZEB-projectmanager Joyce van den Hoek Ostende. “The critical decision moments the client encounters during the lifecycle of the project are the exit point from which we derive all other activities and the different advisory products”.

The density of the information offered was very high and ultimately it proved important to take more time than originally planned to elaborate on certain subjects. “In consultation with all participants we decided we did not wish to rush through any subjects, but rather give everything the attention it deserves. Therefore we now planned a third day in October to cover the remaining subjects”.

Training scales up from 2 to 3 days

The program for the 3 day AZEB training is now as follows. Focal point of attention on day 1 of the training is to get acquainted with the framework of the AZEB methodology and the client journey, including the importance and use of a balanced set of performance indicators. Also on day 1 the main cost effective design principles for AZEB are discussed and a method for doing multidisciplinary design sessions is being practised.

On day 2 we elaborate on the process of Value Engineering to create more value with less resources. Included in this day are the topic of lifecycle costing methods for AZEB as well as practising with a tool to relate the Total Cost of Ownership to other performance indicators such as comfort and health, in order to facilitate the client decision making in different phases of the project.

On day 3 we focus on the opportunities to increase value and/or reduce costs of the nZEB by optimizing the value chain. The main subjects are value chain integration, integral methods of collaboration, process optimization, contracting and performance guarantees.

Soon to be published on this AZEB website

In November the complete first version of the AZEB methodology will be published on this website. Besides the current “live” training many other learning materials will become available in the period ahead, to spread the available knowledge on this AZEB methodology for building affordable nearly zero energy buildings. An online learning environment is being created to facilitate the distribution of these materials.

The next edition of this Summerschool will be a three day training in the second half of 2018. The program will be made available in English and may then be used by the other AZEB partners to organize training in their specific countries. If any other party reading this article now, is interested to provide and organize training around our AZEB methodology, please contact the project coordinator for more information: Mrs. Joyce van den Hoek Ostende, telephone 0031-6-27228397 or email:

AZEB summerschool