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Zero Energy Building

Introduction of Zero Energy Building

  • Buildings have a significant impact on energy use and the environment. Commercial and residential buildings use almost 40% of the primary energy and approximately 70% of the electricity in the United States.
  • ZEB is not a single product or technology, but rather a combination of closely-integrated evolving technologies.

What is Zero Energy Building??

  • A zero-energy building with zero net energy consumption.
  • The total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of energy generated on the site through renewable sources.
  • These buildings consequently contribute less overall greenhouse gas to the atmosphere than similar non zero energy buildings.

Zero Energy Building concepts

  1. Net-Zero Site Energy Building: A building that generates as much energy as it uses on-site. This is the most common use of the “net-zero” term.
  2. Net-Zero Source Energy Building: A building that produces as much energy as it consumes when compared to the energy used to both generate and deliver the energy to the site from a remote point of generation, plus the energy consumption on the site.
  3. Net-Zero Energy Cost Building: A building that sells more power to the utility than t purchase, utilities generally charge more than they pay for power.
  4. Net-Zero Emission Building: A building that generates as much renewable energy as it consumes from non-renewable sources. This energy can be produced on-site or purchased. Buying renewable energy credits to offset non-renewable energy consumption counts.

Design and construction

The most cost-effective step towards reduction in a building’s energy consumption usually occurs during the design process.

  1. It begins with the design: Zero Energy home requires that a wide variety of small issues be effectively addressed in the design phase, including exploring the most cost effective options and ideas for reaching Net Zero- and the site is the best place to begin.
  2. The site: Understanding the site, with its assets and limitations, is essential to creating a successful Zero Energy Home design.
  3. The basis of design: The B.O.D. identifies key project elements such as homeowners requirements, preferences and vision; building type, scope, and key design details, the goals, and specifications for reaching Zero Net Energy; and the sustainable and renewable resources to be included.
  4. Size and Shape Matter: Limiting the size of the home will have a direct impact on overall energy required on site, and should help reduce costs.
  5. Design to use the sun: Zero Energy Homes should be designed to use the sun’s energy as much as possible, for such things as: generating electricity, heating hot water, and utilizing passive solar space heating.
  6. Design with a continuous air barrier: The house should be designed with a continuous air barrier. All the cracks, holes, and exterior envelope penetrations of the home’s six-sided box must be systematically sealed.
  7. Window and Doors: The orientation of Doors and Windows must take climate, wind, sun and shade into account.
  8. Other Design Considerations: Energy efficient ventilation systems may also help optimize air flow in the home.

Advantages of Zero Energy Buildings

  • Isolation for building owners from future energy price increases.
  • Increased comfort due to more-uniform interior temperatures.
  • Reduced requirement for energy austerity.
  • Reduced total cost of ownership due to improved energy efficiency.
  • Reduced total net monthly cost of living.

Disadvantages of Zero Energy Buildings

  • Initial costs can be higher-effort required to understand, apply, and quality for ZEB subsidies.
  • Very few designers or builders have the necessary skills or experience to build ZEBs.
  • New photovoltaic solar cells equipment technology price has been falling at roughly 17% per year- It will lessen the value of capital invested in a solar electric generating system- Current subsidies will be phased out as photovoltaic mass production lowers future price.
  • While the individual house may use an average of net zero energy over a year, it may demand energy at the time when peak demand for the grid occurs. In such a case, the capacity of the grid must still provide electricity to all loads. Therefore, a ZEB may not reduce the required power plant capacity.

Conclusion

With the advancement in renewable technology, Net Zero Energy Buildings are the future. Many governments have framed Zero Energy Building Laws. Few governments are also providing subsidies to individuals and organizations for creating Zero Energy Buildings. But the goal of Zero Energy Buildings would not be fulfilled till the time all the people don’t understand their responsibility and contribute towards reducing energy consumption.