Sustainable future – Net-Zero Buildings
Buildings are currently one of the biggest energy consumers and carbon emitters in the world. This needs to change. Investing in net-zero buildings is becoming an increasingly common method to reduce our carbon footprint in a sustainable way.
What is a net-zero building?
A net-zero building is a highly energy-efficient building that, put simply, produces as much energy as it consumes. Net-zero buildings offset energy consumption and carbon emissions with clean, self-generated energy. This is achieved through a combination of energy-efficient practices and technologies that create renewable energy on-site to reduce energy waste and harmful emissions. While many net-zero buildings are newly constructed, it is possible to convert existing structures into net-zero buildings.
How can a building become a net-zero building?
New or existing structures can become net-zero buildings by producing as much energy on-site as they consume. This can be achieved through a number of advanced technologies such as hot water panels, solar photovoltaic panels, wind power, geothermal energy and biofuels.
Buildings, both old and new, will need to consider a number of elements when converting to the net-zero model. The first step will be the design process itself, including factors such as ventilation and window arrangements.
Produce energy to achieve net-zero consumption.
Buildings that hope to achieve net-zero energy consumption often produce energy to offset their consumption. One way to achieve this is to invest in a solar energy system to balance consumption and production. Solar panel technology has become more efficient over the last twenty years, making them much more popular and affordable.
The increased knowledge we all have about how our actions are impacting the environment, joint with the development of the technology, has encouraged and enabled companies to invest and research in what practices will be most effective on their business. This has led to a gradual reduction in costs and a huge step forward towards buildings and offices becoming net-zero.
Empowering consumers to produce their own energy to become self-sufficient will allow for a net-zero future.