by Brent Sauser
There was a time where the phrase “Net Zero” would prompt us to think of a free dial-up internet company, however, Net Zero has taken on a more globally significant and environmentally sensitive interpretation. The term Net Zero has been adopted by the environmental building and design community to mean: any type of construction that produces the same (or more) amount of energy as it consumes in a given yearly cycle, without having to rely on external sources for power. The process involved in achieving Net Zero demonstrates a well planned balance between the integration of passive design principles and high-tech renewable energy design. It takes a balance of both to get to Net Zero because: 1) Very few people would want to exist in a Net Zero building that featured 100% passive design principles . . . (Why am I thinking of a hogan right now!). Conversely, a 100% high-tech solution would be cost prohibitive. I prefer to think of Net Zero design as “common sense” design. We may have to give up a little to gain so much more . . . like discretionary income and a smaller carbon footprint.
The capability to design common sense, Net Zero buildings is available now. We don’t have to wait another 5 to 10 years to benefit from the technological advances that are accessible today. Click on the following links (below) to learn more about what is involved with building a common sense, Net Zero building.