ZEM at the XXX International Defense Course

The International Defense Course in Jaca analyzes and discusses a selection of factors that act as drivers of change in the field of security and defense. The program started with a session dedicated to the Spanish rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, and another to analyze the evolution of the defense awareness of the Spanish society that these thirty courses have witnessed.

The course will continue with three sessions each dedicated to analyzing how three relevant factors affect the evolution of security and defense. The first of these will be devoted to energy. It will discuss the geopolitics of hydrocarbons
of hydrocarbons, the challenges of the transition and intensive use of new energy sources, and the impact of rare earths and other critical minerals on international security.
Our partner CUDZ (Centro Universitario de la Defensa – Zaragoza) participated in this conference, represented by Beatriz Rodríguez Soria – Professor of the Centro Universitario de la Defensa. During her speech, she presented the project ZERO ENERGYMOD – Modular, demountable and energetically self-sufficient construction for military bases. She highlighted the objectives of the project, the characteristics of its design PASSIVMOD, as well as the process of installation, assembly and the importance of the hydrogen cycle to achieve the objectives of the project.

We took part in the 3rd Congress on Renewable Energies in Defence Installations

APTIE “Association for the Promotion of Strategic Technologies and Industries” is organising the 3rd Congress on Renewable Energies in Defence Installations with the aim of gaining greater knowledge of the different systems for generating these energies, as well as their capacities and problems.

Given the costs of acquisition, maintenance and problematic of the equipment and the importance of the problems of maintenance and agility in the management of the equipment and systems with known obsolescence, we consider interesting to deepen in the subject of outsourcing the ownership, management and maintenance of the facilities for the generation of electrical energy, air conditioning and water ASC.

The evolution and permanent improvement of the efficiency of the equipment, together with the need for specialised maintenance and life cycle management, make this form of management an interesting alternative, which, however, needs to be analysed from the point of view of the legal procedures for contracting with the State.

During this Congress, our colleague Beatriz Rodriguez Soria, Dr. Industrial Engineer and Professor at the Centro Universitario de la Defensa in Zaragoza, presented the objectives and progress of the ZeroEnergyMod project.

Our participation at the Fifth Consultation Forum in Prague to promote sustainable energy in defence

More than 150 experts from 29 European countries, as well as different institutions and organisations participated in the fifth conference of the third phase of the Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS III) in Prague, reaffirming the Consultation Forum’s status as the largest European defence energy community.

The European Defence Agency (EDA) organised the fifth CF SEDSS III conference from 30 November to 1 December 2022 under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). It was hosted by the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. During the conference, the forum showed the way ahead to support the defence energy transition, ranging from behavioural change models to climate change proofing and energy resilience. The forum’s output also contributed to implementing broader EU actions, including the EU’s Climate Change and Defence Roadmap, Member States’ defence strategies for climate change adaptability, the EU’s offshore energy strategy, and the Action Plan on Military Mobility.

The conference was attended by our colleague Adeline Rezeau from the Centro Universitario de Defensa en Zaragoza (CUZD) and our colleague Jesús Montero representing our partner Equipos Móbiles de Campaña (ARPA). Both were in charge of presenting our project ZEROENERGYMOD within the working group 1 “Energy Efficiency and Building Performance”.

The Sappers Battalion installs its offices at DEMO ZEROENERGYMOD

The General Military Academy is the higher education centre of the Spanish Army (ET) and is based in the city of Zaragoza. Its facilities are home to the Defence University Centre (CUZD), attached to the University of Zaragoza, where future Army and Civil Guard officers study the subjects of their degree courses. One of the partners in the project, thanks to which we have set up the DEMO at the San Jorge Base.
Once its construction has been completed, the Sappers Battalion has installed its offices there.

Visit to the prototype at St George’s Base

On 11th April all project partners met to supervise the correct installation of the prototype habitable module at the San Jorge Base. This easy to install and transport space, based on the PassivHaus standard, incorporates renewable energy sources. This will achieve an 85% reduction in energy consumption compared to the solutions currently used. This module will be transported for use by the Army’s Antarctic Campaign. The Antarctic Campaign is carried out annually at the Spanish Antarctic Base “Gabriel de Castilla”, located on Deception Island (South Shetland Islands Archipelago) and in other places in the Antarctic territory to be determined, all in support of the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Spanish Polar Committee (SPC) for the development of Antarctic research.


We participate in the Spanish Passivhaus Conference

The main objective of the Spanish Passivhaus Conference, organised by PEP annually, is to provide a meeting forum for the whole construction sector, technicians, administration, manufacturers and in general all the agents involved in the whole process of design, promotion, construction and use of buildings.

The authors’ paper was presented. Beatriz Rodríguez Soria and Miguel Ángel García García from CUD and Carlos Navarro Gutiérrez from BHAUS, all of them members of our consortium. The work presented detected the need to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels as well as CO2 emissions in the military Bases and Barracks of the European Armed Forces (BAEs) and shows how the ZERO ENERGYMOD project of the LIFE funding programme is an optimal solution.

As a result of applying the design conditions, a design has been developed based on 20-foot containers with a rigid stackable chassis structure, modified with respect to those currently available in order to avoid thermal bridges. The HIGH CUBE model has been selected to have a false ceiling.

It has a base insulation in the removable panels of the chassis of 10 cm of high density wool and double tongue and groove. On the inside, another layer of the same panels has been installed and on the outside, 30 cm thick skins of high density wool with an exterior stainless steel finish.

You can read more about their work here.

The project LIFE ZERO ENERGYMOD awarded at the II Gala de la Edificación de Aragón

On Friday 12th November, the Zaragoza Conference Centre hosted the second edition of the Aragonese Building Gala, organised by the Official Association of Quantity Surveyors and Technical Architects of the Aragonese capital and the rest of the building industry. At the event, the awards for this important sector were presented. The awards were based on three main themes: sustainability, innovation and refurbishment as the major needs of our cities. The award for the best innovation project applied to building went to LIFE ZERO ENERGYMOD, our project financed by the European LIFE programme.

This award is a great satisfaction for the consortium and especially for BHAUS as it recognises the effort made in the design of this living space with minimum energy consumption in any location and climate. The fact that all the entities participating in the consortium are Aragonese also shows the region’s capacity to carry out innovative projects that combine energy management and habitability. The germ of the project idea arose from the collaboration that CUD and FHa were carrying out to improve habitability and energy management at the Gabriel de Castilla Antarctic base. This idea was developed by BHAUS applying PassivHaus standards to achieve minimum energy consumption, and finally ARPA contributed its proven experience in the construction of mobile equipment, as well as its capacity for deployment in any location.
The president of the Zaragoza Association of Technical Architects, Rafael Gracia, highlighted during the gala: “the building sector is at a very exciting time, as users are beginning to be aware of the great benefits that new homes have and it is also expected that the aid from European funds will greatly boost the rehabilitation of buildings”.
If you want to know more about this project, we encourage you to visit their website

New developments in the project thanks to close cooperation between partners

On May 22nd, the three partners of the project, the Aragon Hydrogen Foundation, the architectural firm B-Haus and the University Centre of Defence of Zaragoza (CUDZ) met at the facilities of the also partner, ARPA in Zaragoza. During the meeting, we had the opportunity to share impressions on the evolution of the initiative. We also had the opportunity to visit the modules. On the one hand, the ENERMOD module (energy module that supplies renewable energies and energy storage by means of batteries and hydrogen). And on the other, the PASSIVMOD (habitable module designed under PassivHaus standards). Both are the proposal to be integrated in the final module. The latter is currently in the construction phase.

During the day, it was demonstrated how the team’s efforts had been focused on the construction of these modules. And the work forecast for the coming months was concluded. In which, the month of August stands out. This is a key month as the equipment will be tested at ARPA.

Finally, in September, the project will be taken to the field to install the module in what will be the first demo: the facilities of the Army’s XXII Sapper Brigade, in Zaragoza.


Energy Efficiency Report for the Army

A report assessing the energy efficiency of the Gabriel de Castilla Base on Deception Island (Antarctica), one of the sites where the prototype of the project will be tested and where it is expected to be permanently installed, has been delivered to the Army Infrastructures Directorate. This report provides an energy characterisation of the current state of the project as a result of the work carried out during a research visit by the Defence University Centre. At the end of the report, proposals for improvement are made and an evaluation is made of the energy that would be saved with respect to its current state, by building the Base with the new modules that are being designed. This Base is going to renovate several of its buildings from the next campaign onwards, in accordance with its Master Plan.


The Aragon Hydrogen Foundation coordinates the European project LIFE ZEROENERGYMOD that will allow the installation of military bases with electric autonomy and zero emissions.

The project will last three years and has a budget of 1,006,152 € co-financed 55% by the European LIFE+ programme.

The agreement to launch the European LIFE ZEROENERGYMOD project was signed today and is expected to be tested within a month. The agreement involves four partners: the Hydrogen Foundation, chaired by Arturo Aliaga, the University Defence Centre and the Aragonese companies ARPA EMC and B-Haus. It is a project based on the development of habitable and modular modules, easy to transport and install and with zero-emission energy consumption. It will first be tested in the army, although the idea is to extend it to the civilian sphere.

The four partners involved in this project, including the Aragon Hydrogen Foundation, have today ratified their commitment to research to achieve more efficient buildings. The president of this entity and also vice-president of Aragon, Arturo Aliaga, highlighted “the solidity of this initiative based on hydrogen technologies and which has two Aragonese companies for its implementation, as well as the Ministry of Defence, which is deeply rooted in Aragon”. The origin of this technology, Aliaga reiterated, “began more than fifteen years ago in the autonomous community and now, with projects like this one, it shows that it is bearing fruit and is being placed at the forefront of this type of research with international prototypes. We hope that it will end up being a patented prototype that can be extended to other applications in the civil sector.

The final solution will consist of two integrated modules, the PASSIVMOD, a living module with reduced energy consumption, thanks to its design under the Passivhaus standard, and the ENERMOD, an energy module with renewable generation. The living module will be multi-purpose and can be used as a bedroom, office or communications centre, certified under the Passivhaus energy standard, the most demanding in the world and which is already spreading all over the world. And the second energy module that will supply it is what we call the Enermod, which, through wind energy and solar panels, will produce energy that will be stored in the form of hydrogen and thus, seasonally, will be able to supply the habitable module in a self-sufficient way. The idea is that in the future the military bases will be “green” and completely independent of the country in which they are located, that they will not emit CO 2 and, at the same time, will increase their security. So far, several research stays have been carried out in Lebanon, Antarctica and Zaragoza to test how this standard behaves in different climates, medium or extreme, and it has been shown that it is capable of reducing energy consumption by up to 90%. The problem, until now, was the difficulty in supplying renewable energy consumption, but by reducing it to 10%, self-sufficiency is possible.

The prototype will now be tested in Zaragoza, as an example of an arid and dry climate for six months. From there it will be moved to the Riga base in Latvia, a cold climate, and finally to the Gabriel de Castilla base in Antarctica, an extreme climate, where it will remain for good. It will be the first Passivhaus building to be erected on the Antarctic continent. The plan is to test its operation in order to bring the use of this technology to the rest of the military camps around the world.