Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

The term “Net Zero” is taking on a new definition

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.

Net Zero Energy Home Remodels

Moving Towards a Net Zero Energy Home

What Is A Net Zero Energy Home

Building New Zero Energy Homes

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