Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

HOW & WHY . . . . to Build Net Zero?

By Brent Sauser


I believe we may have begun to turn a corner regarding building Net Zero. has spent a lot of time and electronic ink on WHAT Net Zero is.  But as more and more Net Zero buildings are completed throughout the United States, the “WHAT” is becoming more understandable, and perhaps most importantly, more acceptable.  Many owners in need of new facilities, as well as forward thinking developers have caught the vision of the long term benefits to them, their employees, tenants, community, and environment.  As more and more people become aware of what Net Zero is, the next step is to help deepen their awareness with answering the HOW and WHY to build Net Zero.  

These two short videos share some of the HOWs and WHYs of Net Zero construction, on a large and small scale.  Even though one example is residential and the other a public facility, both use similar methods to achieve Net Zero.  The key is to incorporate as many low-cost passive features as possible, with a complement of active systems to bridge the gap to becoming a complete Net Zero facility.  

These videos provide further evidence that building Net Zero is no longer considered an extreme or fringe idea.  It is now a viable option in facing the rising cost of electricity, and serves as a credible response to reducing our dependence on energy provided by non-renewable resources.  The technology is here and the costs are now competitive to build Net Zero.  WHY . . . . . ?  Because it makes good common sense to do so. 

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