Buildings generate tonnes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) during their lifetimes. It includes the planning, construction, operation, maintenance and finally, demolition of the building. Unsustainable practices are employed during these activities and lead to almost 40% contribution of buildings to global GHG emissions. These emissions are a direct accelerant for climate change and threaten to transform the landscape for the worse.
Net zero buildings drastically reduce energy consumption and emissions. What is a net zero building’s goal? A net zero building aims to lower GHG emissions by utilizing on-site renewable energy generation using innovative technology. It aims to make a significantly lower environmental impact than conventional, non-net-zero buildings. In this article, we will answer “what is a net zero building” and how net zero buildings support a green future.
What Is a Net Zero Building?
A net zero building is a building that consumes net zero energy, i.e., it produces enough renewable energy on location to fulfil its energy demands. As a result, its impact on the environment is notably low, and its operation is highly sustainable. To achieve this, net zero buildings employ energy-saving features like high-efficiency windows, solar panels and daylighting. They are designed to reduce energy demand and are then able to address their optimized energy needs by generating renewable energy.
Features of a Net Zero Building
- Careful Planning: Net zero buildings are meticulously designed to cut energy costs wherever possible. Renewable energy generation is integrated into the building during planning itself. Sophisticated 3-D simulation tools are used to calculate the energy demands, optimum window position, efficiency of lighting and heating in a room and the possible effects of the local climate. It also enables the builders to figure out the cost-benefit analysis and life cycle assessment of the net zero building.
- Recycled Heating: Net zero buildings reduce electricity loads due to heating and cooling by employing efficient tools like heat pumps, superinsulation, high-efficiency windows, and natural ventilation. Water conservation fixtures and heat recovery units recycle heat from wastewater. Net zero buildings also offer solar water heating options to optimize energy consumption.
- Natural Lighting: High-efficiency LED lighting and passive shading in a net zero building are used to avoid high electricity costs. The buildings are designed with skylights or solar tubes to improve lighting during daytime via daylighting.
- Reduced Cost of Living: Net zero buildings are able to cut costs due to their robust, sustainable designs and improve the monthly cost of living for the inhabitants. Energy generation is carried out on-site, making feeding energy to the building easier. Net zero buildings attract stakeholders because of tax breaks added to savings on energy costs that make the buildings profitable in the long run.
- Sustainable: As a result of drastically reducing GHG emissions, net zero buildings are environmentally sustainable and help mitigate climate change effects. Policymakers all around the world are also trying their best to make it financially viable.
Connect with Experts and Explore Sustainable Brands
What is a net zero building’s overall impact on the environment? They significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions and optimize energy consumption. Energy costs are bound to increase as time passes, and net zero buildings significantly reduce these costs. Consequently, governments worldwide are attempting to make net zero buildings financially viable by offering tax incentives.
We recommend connecting with energy consumption experts and supporting organizations willing to take a stand against climate change. Finding sustainable brands for all your needs can go a long way. Pave the way towards a greener future and find companies you can rely on.