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Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

The Next Trend in Green Construction: The Net Zero Building

The Next Trend in Green Construction: The Net Zero Building    By Chris Keenan  June 21, 2012

Net Zero Buildings are Increasingly Popular in the United States

In 2012, green building trends are moving solidly in the direction of the “Net Zero Building.” That defines a building that uses the same amount of energy per day as it produces using renewable sources like solar energy and others. This differs from standards like the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) classification, as it specifically states that building must produce and consume an equal amount of renewable energy. Essentially, the building must be neutral and “invisible.”
 
In 2011 alone, the up-front cost of solar panel installations dropped as much as 50 percent worldwide, making this technology more affordable than ever. Compounding that decrease in price is legislation that gives both businesses and individuals a tax credit for installing green technologies at a business or a home. This was originally intended to benefit the economy alone, but has resulted in much more construction benefitting the environment. That’s the kind of double-pronged effect that many environmentalists have been waiting for over the course of the past several decade, and it’s heartening to see such a change finally make its way to the marketplace.
 
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