Net-Zero Energy Buildings:
A net-zero energy building is one that relies on renewable sources to produce as much energy as it uses, usually as measured over the course of a year.
- Homes and other structures that create almost as much energy as they use are sometimes called near-zero energy buildings.
- It is also possible for a building to produce an energy surplus, sending excess back to the electrical grid.
- Net-zero energy buildings start with energy-conscious design. Many features work without an energy source.
- In cold climates, south-facing buildings with large expanses of windows on that side can produce heat through passive solar gain.
- On the cold north side of the building, smaller windows can angle to wider openings, permitting more light while limiting heat loss.
- In warmer seasons, passive ventilation systems can pull cool air up from the lower levels and vent it through the building’s highest point.
- Rooftop systems can collect rainwater to reduce usage of treated water.