The ZEB4ZEN project (Zero energy buildings for zero energy neighbourhoods) should provide an answer to that question. The project, worth more than two million euros, in which the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute (EIHP) acts for the first time as the holder of a consortium of an international team of experts within the framework of the transnational cooperation program (Interreg), officially began its implementation on April 1, 2023. ZEB4ZEN was born from EIHP’s ideas to combine the energy transition towards a low-carbon society with the protection of historical architectural heritage. It connects two opposing concepts: modern and traditional, and its goal is to identify solutions aimed at the modernization of historical centers, while protecting their historical and cultural heritage. More specifically, the goal is to develop a methodology for energetically renovating entire neighbourhoods, not just one building at a time, and to define action plans for transforming city neighbourhoods into neighbourhoods with almost zero energy consumption by 2050. And all this is based on the experience of pilot investments.
Namely, an essential part of this is the three pilot investments in the well-known city centers of Palmanova (Italy), Zamość (Poland) and Karlovac (Croatia), which are recognized as the best examples for the implementation of the project because they were built as ideal renaissance cities with a star shape. Therefore, for the next three years, seven project partners from four Central European countries, and many associated partners, will develop a methodology for transforming ideal historical city centers into ideal neighbourhoods with almost zero energy.