Net Zero Buildings: The Next Milestone in Green Construction

BedZED environmental friendly housing, England. Image Credit: Paul Miller via Wikipedia.

Here at Norsteel, we encourage our clients not only to have green buildings but also net zero energy buildings. Net zero buildings form part of the bigger green building market and are characterized by the fact that a building consumes as much energy as it produces through its own repository of energy. In fact, several certification authorities like LEED, NAHB Green, Green Globes, and the International Living Future Institute have specialized certifications for zero energy buildings, particularly the Net Zero Energy Building Certification.

The future of the market also seems bright. According to a study by Pike Research last June 19, 2012, the future of net zero buildings seem bright, considering its rapid growth and popularity in the US. In fact, the research predicts that by 2020, zero energy buildings will have revenues of as much as $690 billion in 2020 and $1.3 trillion by 2035. In March 2012, 21 net zero buildings were contracted. An additional 8 buildings have not applied for certification, and around a dozen of this type of building is in the works as well.

Thanks to new innovations and technologies, zero energy buildings are increasingly becoming accessible to building owners. Two examples are triple glazed windows and solar panels. The prices of solar panels, for instance, have dropped by around 50% in 2011.

Another popular renewable source is wind. The wind industry, in fact, has grown by 31% last 2010, according to statistics from The American Wind Energy Association.

The motivations of having a zero energy building are not difficult to see. For one, governments traditionally give tax breaks to renewable energy products. Also, net zero buildings have contributed to the positive corporate image of companies.

With decreases in the cost of renewable sources and other cost-effective systems, as well as government incentive grants, net zero buildings are officially the next big thing in the construction industry.

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