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Zero-energy test building in "Tallinn, "Estonia. "Tallinn University of Technology.

A zero-energy building, also known as a zero net energy (ZNE) building, net-zero energy building (NZEB), or net zero building, is a "building with zero net "energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of "renewable energy created on the site,[1][2] or in other definitions by renewable energy sources elsewhere.[3] These buildings consequently contribute less overall "greenhouse gas to the atmosphere than similar non-ZNE buildings. They do at times consume non-renewable energy and produce greenhouse gases, but at other times reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas production elsewhere by the same amount. A similar concept approved and implemented by the "European Union and other agreeing countries is nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB), with the goal of having all buildings in the region under nZEB standards by 2020.[4]

Most zero net energy buildings get half or more of their energy from the "grid, and return the same amount at other times. Buildings that produce a surplus of energy over the year may be called ""energy-plus buildings" and buildings that consume slightly more energy than they produce are called "near-zero energy buildings" or "ultra-"low energy houses".

Traditional buildings consume 40% of the total "fossil fuel energy in the US and European Union and are significant contributors of "greenhouse gases.[5][6] The zero net energy consumption principle is viewed as a means to reduce "carbon emissions and reduce dependence on "fossil fuels and although zero-energy buildings remain uncommon even in "developed countries, they are gaining importance and popularity.

Most zero-energy buildings use the "electrical grid for "energy storage but some are independent of the grid. Energy is usually harvested on-site through energy producing technologies like solar and wind, while reducing the overall use of energy with highly efficient "HVAC and lighting technologies. The zero-energy goal is becoming more practical as the costs of alternative energy technologies decrease and the costs of traditional fossil fuels increase.

The development of modern zero-energy buildings became possible not only through the progress made in new energy and construction technologies and techniques, but it has also been significantly improved by academic research, which collects precise energy performance data on traditional and experimental buildings and provides performance parameters for advanced computer models to predict the efficacy of engineering designs. Zero-energy buildings can be part of a "smart grid. Some advantages of these buildings are as follows:

The net zero concept is applicable to a wide range of resources due to the many options for producing and "conserving resources in buildings (e.g. energy, water, "waste). Energy is the first resource to be targeted because it is highly managed, expected to continually become more efficient, and the ability to distribute and allocate it will improve disaster resiliency.[7]



Despite sharing the name "zero net energy", there are several definitions of what the term means in practice, with a particular difference in usage between North America and Europe.[8]

Zero net site energy use
In this type of ZNE, the amount of energy provided by on-site "renewable energy sources is equal to the amount of energy used by the building. In the United States, “zero net energy building” generally refers to this type of building.
Zero net source energy use
This ZNE generates the same amount of energy as is used, including the energy used to transport the energy to the building. This type accounts for energy losses during "electricity generation and "transmission.[9] These ZNEs must generate more electricity than zero net site energy buildings.
Net zero energy emissions
Outside the "United States and "Canada, a ZEB is generally defined as one with zero net energy emissions, also known as a zero carbon building or zero emissions building. Under this definition the "carbon emissions generated from on-site or off-site fossil fuel use are balanced by the amount of on-site "renewable energy production. Other definitions include not only the carbon emissions generated by the building in use, but also those generated in the construction of the building and the "embodied energy of the structure. Others debate whether the carbon emissions of "commuting to and from the building should also be included in the calculation.Recent work in New Zealand has initiated an approach to include building user transport energy within zero energy building frameworks.[10]
Net zero cost
In this type of building, the cost of purchasing energy is balanced by income from sales of electricity to the grid of electricity generated on-site. Such a status depends on how a utility credits net electricity generation and the utility rate structure the building uses.
Net off-site zero energy use
A building may be considered a ZEB if 100% of the energy it purchases comes from renewable energy sources, even if the energy is generated off the site.
"Off-the-grid buildings are stand-alone ZEBs that are not connected to an off-site energy utility facility. They require "distributed renewable energy generation and energy storage capability (for when the sun is not shining, wind is not blowing, etc.). An energy "autarkic house is a building concept where the balance of the own energy consumption and production can be made on an hourly or even smaller basis. Energy autarkic houses can be taken off-the-grid.
Net zero-energy building
Based on scientific analysis within the joint research program “Towards Net Zero Energy Solar Buildings”[11] a methodological framework was set up which allows different definitions, in accordance with country’s political targets, specific (climate) conditions and respectively formulated requirements for indoor conditions: The overall conceptual understanding of a Net ZEB is an energy efficient, grid connected building enabled to generate energy from renewable sources to compensate its own energy demand (see figure 1
Figure 1: The Net ZEB balance concept: balance of weighted energy import respectively energy demand (x-axis) and energy export (feed-in credits) respectively (on-site) generation (y-axis)
The wording “Net” emphasizes the energy exchange between the building and the energy infrastructure. By the building-grid interaction, the Net ZEBs becomes an active part of the renewable energy infrastructure. This connection to energy grids prevents seasonal energy storage and oversized on-site systems for energy generation from renewable sources like in energy autonomous buildings. The similarity of both concepts is a pathway of two actions: 1) reduce energy demand by means of energy efficiency measures and passive energy use; 2) generate energy from renewable sources. However, the Net ZEBs grid interaction and plans to widely increase their numbers[12] evoke considerations on increased flexibility in the shift of energy loads and reduced peak demands.[13]

Within this balance procedure several aspects and explicit choices have to be determined:

The information is based on the publications,[15][16] and[17] in which deeper information could be found.

Design and construction[edit]

The most cost-effective steps toward a reduction in a building's energy consumption usually occur during the design process.[18] To achieve efficient energy use, zero energy design departs significantly from conventional construction practice. Successful zero energy building designers typically combine time tested "passive solar, or artificial/fake conditioning, principles that work with the on-site assets. Sunlight and solar heat, prevailing breezes, and the cool of the earth below a building, can provide daylighting and stable indoor temperatures with minimum mechanical means. ZEBs are normally optimized to use "passive solar heat gain and shading, combined with "thermal mass to stabilize "diurnal temperature variations throughout the day, and in most climates are "superinsulated.[19] All the technologies needed to create zero energy buildings are available "off-the-shelf today.

Sophisticated 3-D "building energy simulation tools are available to model how a building will perform with a range of design variables such as building orientation (relative to the daily and seasonal position of the "sun), window and door type and placement, overhang depth, insulation type and values of the building elements, air tightness ("weatherization), the efficiency of heating, cooling, lighting and other equipment, as well as local climate. These simulations help the designers predict how the building will perform before it is built, and enable them to model the economic and financial implications on building "cost benefit analysis, or even more appropriate – life cycle assessment.

Zero-energy buildings are built with significant "energy-saving features. The "heating and cooling loads are lowered by using high-efficiency equipment, added "insulation, high-efficiency windows, natural "ventilation, and other techniques. These features vary depending on "climate zones in which the construction occurs. Water heating loads can be lowered by using water conservation fixtures, "heat recovery units on waste water, and by using solar water heating, and high-efficiency water heating equipment. In addition, "daylighting with "skylights or solartubes can provide 100% of daytime illumination within the home. Nighttime illumination is typically done with "fluorescent and "LED lighting that use 1/3 or less power than incandescent lights, without adding unwanted heat. And "miscellaneous electric loads can be lessened by choosing efficient appliances and minimizing phantom loads or "standby power. Other techniques to reach net zero (dependent on climate) are "Earth sheltered building principles, superinsulation walls using "straw-bale construction, Vitruvianbuilt pre-fabricated building panels and roof elements plus exterior landscaping for seasonal shading.

Zero-energy buildings are often designed to make dual use of energy including "white goods; for example, using "refrigerator exhaust to heat domestic water, ventilation air and shower drain "heat exchangers, office machines and computer servers, and body heat to heat the building. These buildings make use of heat energy that conventional buildings may exhaust outside. They may use "heat recovery ventilation, "hot water heat recycling, "combined heat and power, and "absorption chiller units.["citation needed]

Energy harvest[edit]

ZEBs harvest available energy to meet their electricity and heating or cooling needs. In the case of individual houses, various "microgeneration technologies may be used to provide heat and electricity to the building, using "solar cells or "wind turbines for electricity, and "biofuels or "solar thermal collectors linked to a "seasonal thermal energy storage (STES) for space heating. An STES can also be used for summer cooling by storing the cold of winter underground. To cope with fluctuations in demand, zero energy buildings are frequently connected to the "electricity grid, export electricity to the grid when there is a surplus, and drawing electricity when not enough electricity is being produced.[8] Other buildings may be fully "autonomous.

"Energy harvesting is most often more effective (in cost and resource utilization) when done on a local but combined scale, for example, a group of houses, "cohousing, local district, village, etc. rather than an individual basis. An energy benefit of such localized energy harvesting is the virtual elimination of "electrical transmission and "electricity distribution losses. These losses amount to about 7.2%–7.4% of the energy transferred.[20] Energy harvesting in "commercial and "industrial applications should benefit from the "topography of each location. The production of goods under net zero fossil energy consumption requires locations of "geothermal, "microhydro, "solar, and "wind resources to sustain the concept.[21]

Zero-energy neighborhoods, such as the "BedZED development in the "United Kingdom, and those that are spreading rapidly in "California and "China, may use "distributed generation schemes. This may in some cases include "district heating, community chilled water, shared wind turbines, etc. There are current plans to use ZEB technologies to build entire off-the-grid or net zero energy use cities.

The "energy harvest" versus "energy conservation" debate[edit]

One of the key areas of debate in zero energy building design is over the balance between "energy conservation and the distributed point-of-use harvesting of "renewable energy ("solar energy, "wind energy and "thermal energy). Most zero energy homes use a combination of these strategies.["citation needed]

As a result of significant government subsidies for photovoltaic solar electric systems, wind turbines, etc., there are those who suggest that a ZEB is a conventional house with distributed renewable energy harvesting technologies. Entire additions of such homes have appeared in locations where photovoltaic (PV) subsidies are significant,[22] but many so called "Zero Energy Homes" still have utility bills. This type of energy harvesting without added energy conservation may not be cost effective with the current price of electricity generated with photovoltaic equipment (depending on the local price of power company electricity),[23] and may also requires greater embodied energy and greater resources so be thus the less ecological approach.["citation needed]

Since the 1980s, "passive solar building design and "passive house have demonstrated heating energy consumption reductions of 70% to 90% in many locations, without active energy harvesting. For new builds, and with expert design, this can be accomplished with little additional construction cost for materials over a conventional building. Very few industry experts have the skills or experience to fully capture benefits of the passive design.[24] Such passive solar designs are much more cost-effective than adding expensive photovoltaic panels on the roof of a conventional inefficient building.[23] A few kilowatt-hours of photovoltaic panels (costing 2 to 3 dollars per annual kWh production, U.S. dollar equivalent) may only reduce external energy requirements by 15% to 30%. A 100,000 BTU (110 MJ) high "seasonal energy efficiency ratio 14 conventional air conditioner requires over 7 kW of photovoltaic electricity while it is operating, and that does not include enough for "off-the-grid night-time operation. "Passive cooling, and superior system engineering techniques, can reduce the air conditioning requirement by 70% to 90%. Photovoltaic-generated electricity becomes more cost-effective when the overall demand for electricity is lower.

Occupant behavior[edit]

The energy used in a building can vary greatly depending on the behavior of its occupants. The acceptance of what is considered comfortable varies widely. Studies of identical homes in the United States have shown dramatic differences in energy use, with some identical homes using more than twice the energy of others.[25] Occupant behavior can vary from differences in setting and programming "thermostats, varying levels of "illumination and hot water, and the amount of "miscellaneous electric devices or "plug loads used.[26]

Utility concerns[edit]

Utility companies are typically legally responsible for maintaining the electrical infrastructure that brings power to our cities, neighborhoods, and individual buildings. Utility companies typically own this infrastructure up to the property line of an individual parcel, and in some cases own electrical infrastructure on private land as well. Utilities have expressed concern that the use of Net Metering for ZNE projects threatens the Utilities base revenue, which in turn impacts their ability to maintain and service the portion of the electrical grid that they are responsible for. Utilities have expressed concern that states that maintain Net Metering laws may saddle non-ZNE homes with higher utility costs, as those homeowners would be responsible for paying for grid maintenance while ZNE home owners would theoretically pay nothing if they do achieve ZNE status. This creates potential equity issues, as currently, the burden would appear to fall on lower-income households. A possible solution to this issue is to create a minimum base charge for all homes connected to the utility grid, which would force ZNE home owners to pay for grid services independently of their electrical use.

Additional concerns exist that local distribution as well as larger transmission grids have not been designed to convey electricity in two directions, which may be necessary as higher levels of distributed energy generation come on line. Overcoming this barrier could require extensive upgrades to the electrical grid, however this is not believed to be a major problem until renewable generation reaches much higher levels of penetration than currently realized.[27]

Development efforts[edit]

Wide acceptance of zero-energy building technology may require more government incentives or building code regulations, the development of recognized standards, or significant increases in the cost of conventional energy.["citation needed]

The Google photovoltaic campus and the Microsoft 480-kilowatt photovoltaic campus relied on U.S. Federal, and especially California, subsidies and financial incentives. California is now providing US$3.2 billion in subsidies[28] for residential-and-commercial near-zero-energy buildings. The details of other American states' renewable energy subsidies (up to US$5.00 per watt) can be found in the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.[29] The Florida Solar Energy Center has a slide presentation on recent progress in this area.[30]

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development[31] has launched a major initiative to support the development of ZEB. Led by the CEO of "United Technologies and the Chairman of "Lafarge, the organization has both the support of large global companies and the expertise to mobilize the corporate world and governmental support to make ZEB a reality. Their first report, a survey of key players in real estate and construction, indicates that the costs of building green are overestimated by 300 percent. Survey respondents estimated that greenhouse gas emissions by buildings are 19 percent of the worldwide total, in contrast to the actual value of roughly 40 percent.[32]

Influential zero-energy and low-energy buildings[edit]

Those who commissioned construction of passive houses and zero-energy homes (over the last three decades) were essential to iterative, incremental, cutting-edge, technology innovations. Much has been learned from many significant successes, and a few expensive failures.[33]

The zero-energy building concept has been a progressive evolution from other "low-energy building designs. Among these, the Canadian "R-2000 and the "German "passive house standards have been internationally influential. Collaborative government demonstration projects, such as the superinsulated Saskatchewan House, and the "International Energy Agency's "Task 13, have also played their part.

Net Zero Energy Building Definition[edit]

The US National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) published a groundbreaking report titled Net-Zero Energy Buildings: A Classification System Based on Renewable Energy Supply Options.[3] This is the first report to lay out a full spectrum classification system for Net Zero/Renewable Energy buildings that includes the full spectrum of Clean Energy sources, both on site and off site. This classification system identifies the following 4 main categories of Net Zero Energy Buildings/Sites/Campuses:

Applying this U.S. Government Net Zero classification system means that every building "can" become Net Zero with the right combination of the key Net Zero Technologies - PV (solar), GHP (geothermal heating and cooling, thermal batteries), EE (energy efficiency), sometimes Wind, and Electric Batteries. A graphical exposé of the scale of impact of applying these NREL guidelines for Net Zero can be seen in the graphic at Net Zero Foundation titled "Net Zero Effect on U.S. Total Energy Use"[34] showing a possible 39% U.S. total fossil fuel use reduction by changing U.S. Residential and Commercial buildings to Net Zero, 37% savings if we still use Nat. Gas for cooking at the same level.

Net Zero Carbon Conversion Example[edit]

Many well known universities have professed to want to completely convert their energy systems off of fossil fuels. The very idea that one could convert a whole campus off of fossil fuels has to date only been theoretical. Capitalizing on the continuing developments in both "Photovoltaics and "Geothermal heat pump technologies, and in the advancing "Electric Battery field, complete conversion to a carbon free energy solution is now possible. An example of this is in the Net Zero Foundation's proposal at MIT to take that campus completely off fossil fuel use.[35] This proposal shows the coming application of Net Zero Energy Buildings technologies at the "District Energy scale.

Advantages and disadvantages[edit]



Zero energy building versus green building[edit]

The goal of "green building and "sustainable architecture is to use resources more efficiently and reduce a building's negative impact on the environment.[37] Zero energy buildings achieve one key green-building goal of completely or very significantly reducing energy use and "greenhouse gas emissions for the life of the building. Zero energy buildings may or may not be considered "green" in all areas, such as reducing waste, using "recycled building materials, etc. However, zero energy, or net-zero buildings do tend to have a much lower ecological impact over the life of the building compared with other "green" buildings that require imported energy and/or fossil fuel to be habitable and meet the needs of occupants.

Because of the design challenges and sensitivity to a site that are required to efficiently meet the energy needs of a building and occupants with renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, etc.), designers must apply holistic design principles, and take advantage of the free naturally occurring assets available, such as passive solar orientation, natural ventilation, daylighting, thermal mass, and night time cooling.


Many "green building certification programs do not require a building to have net zero energy use, only to reduce energy use a few percentage points below the minimum required by law. Green Globes involves check lists that are measurement tools, not design tools. Inexperienced designers or architects may cherry-pick points to meet a target certification level, even though those points may not be the best design choices for a specific building or climate.["citation needed] In November, 2011, the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) developed the Net Zero Energy Building Certification. In 2017, the ILFI simplified the certification program and renamed it Zero Energy Building Certification. [38]


International initiatives[edit]

Between 2008 and 2013, researchers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA were working together in the joint research program “Towards Net Zero Energy Solar Buildings” under the umbrella of International Energy Agency (IEA) Solar Heating and Cooling Program (SHC) Task 40 / Energy in Buildings and Communities (EBC, formerly ECBCS) Annex 52[11] in order to bring the Net ZEB concept to market viability. The joint international research and demonstration activities are divided in subtasks. The objective is to develop a common understanding, a harmonized international applicable definition framework (Subtask A, see definitions methodology “Net Zero Energy Building” above), design process tools (Subtask B), advanced building design and technology solutions and industry guidelines for Net ZEBs (Subtask C). The scope encompasses new and existing residential and non-residential buildings located within the climatic zones of the participating countries.


In "Australia, researchers have recently developed a new approach to the construction of visually-clear solar energy harvesting windows suitable for industrialization and applications in net-zero energy buildings.[39] Industrial production of several prototype batches of solar windows has started in 2016.[40]

Up to the December 2017, the State of Queensland has more than 30% of households with rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system. The average size of Australian rooftop solar PV system has exceeded 3.5kW. In Brisbane (capital city of Queensland), households with 6kW rooftop PV system and reasonable energy rating (5~6 stars for Australian National House Energy Rating NatHERS) can achieve net zero total energy target or even positive energy[41].


In "Belgium there is a project with the ambition to make the Belgian city Leuven climate-neutral in 2030.[42]


After "April 2011 Fukushima earthquake follow up with "Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Japan experienced severe power crisis that led to the awareness of importance of energy conservation. In 2012 "Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, "Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and "Ministry of the Environment (Japan) summarized the road map for Low-carbon Society which contains the goal of ZEH and ZEB to be standard of new construction in 2020.[43]




Strategic Research Centre on Zero Energy Buildings was in 2009 established at "Aalborg University by a grant from the Danish Council for Strategic Research (DSF), the Programme Commission for Sustainable Energy and Environment, and in cooperation with the Technical University of Denmark, Danish Technological Institute, "Danfoss A/S, Velux A/S, Saint Gobain Isover A/S, and The Danish Construction Association, the section of aluminium facades. The purpose of the centre is through development of integrated, intelligent technologies for the buildings, which ensure considerable energy conservations and optimal application of renewable energy, to develop zero energy building concepts. In cooperation with the industry, the centre will create the necessary basis for a long-term sustainable development in the building sector.



India's first net zero building is "Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, located in "New Delhi. Features include "passive solar building design and other green technologies.[57]


In 2011, Payesh Energy House (PEH) or Khaneh Payesh Niroo by a collaboration of Fajr-e-Toseah Consultant Engineering Company[58] and Vancouver Green Homes Ltd] under management of Payesh Energy Group (EPG) launched the first Net-Zero passive house in Iran. This concept makes the design and construction of PEH a sample model and standardized process for mass production by MAPSA.[59]

Also an example of the new generation of zero energy office buildings is the 24-story OIIC[60] Office Tower, which is started in 2011, as the OIIC Company headquarters. It uses both modest energy efficiency, and a big distributed renewable energy generation from both solar and wind. It is managed by Rahgostar Naft Company in "Tehran, Iran. The tower is receiving economic support from government subsidies that are now funding many significant fossil-fuel-free efforts.[61]


In 2005, Scandinavian Homes[62] launched the world's first standardised passive house in Ireland, this concept makes the design and construction of passive house a standardised process. Conventional low energy construction techniques have been refined and modelled on the PHPP (Passive House Design Package) to create the standardised passive house. Building offsite allows high precision techniques to be utilised and reduces the possibility of errors in construction.
In 2009 the same company started a project to use 23,000 liters of water in a seasonal storage tank,[63] heated up by "evacuated solar tubes throughout the year, with the aim to provide the house with enough heat throughout the winter months thus eliminating the need for any electrical heat to keep the house comfortably warm. The system is monitored and documented by a research team from "The University of Ulster and the results will be included in part of a "PhD thesis.

In 2012 Cork institute of Technology started renovation work on its 1974 building stock to develop a net zero energy building retrofit.[64] The exemplar project will become Ireland's first zero energy testbed offering a post occupancy evaluation of actual building performance against design benchmarks.


In October 2007, the "Malaysia Energy Centre (PTM) successfully completed the development and construction of the PTM Zero Energy Office (ZEO) Building. The building has been designed to be a super-energy-efficient building using only 286 kWh/day. The renewable energy – photovoltaic combination is expected to result in a net zero energy requirement from the grid. The building is currently undergoing a fine tuning process by the local energy management team. Findings are expected to be published in a year.[65]

In 2016,The Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia (SEDA Malaysia) has started a voluntary initiative called Low Carbon Building Facilitation Program. The purpose is to support the current low carbon cities program in Malaysia. Under the program, several project demonstration managed to reduce energy and carbon beyond 50% savings and some managed to save more than 75%. Continuous improvement of super energy efficient buildings with significant implementation of on-site renewable energy managed to made a few of them become nearly Zero Energy (nZEB) as well as Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB). In March 2018, SEDA Malaysia has started the Zero Energy Building Facilitation Program.[66]

Malaysia also have its own sustainable building tool special for Low Carbon and zero energy building, called GreenPASS that been developed by the Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB) in 2012, and currently being administered and promoted by SEDA Malaysia. GreenPASS official be called the Construction Industry Standard (CIS) 20:2012.


In September 2006, the Dutch headquarters of the "World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in "Zeist was opened. This earth-friendly building gives back more energy than it uses. All materials in the building were tested against strict requirements laid down by the WWF and the architect.[67]


In February 2009, the Research Council of "Norway assigned The Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology to host the Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB), which is one of eight new national Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME). The main objective of the FME-centres is to contribute to the development of good technologies for environmentally friendly energy and to raise the level of Norwegian expertise in this area. In addition, they should help to generate new industrial activity and new jobs. Over the next eight years, the FME-Centre ZEB will develop competitive products and solutions for existing and new buildings that will lead to market penetration of zero emission buildings related to their production, operation and demolition.


"Singapore's first zero-energy building was launched at the inaugural Singapore Green Building Week.[68]


The Swiss "MINERGIE-A-Eco label certifies zero energy buildings. The first building with this label, a single-family home, was completed in "Mühleberg in 2011.[69]

United Arab Emirates[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

In December 2006, the government announced that by 2016 all new homes in England will be zero energy buildings. To encourage this, an exemption from "Stamp Duty Land Tax is planned. In "Wales the plan is for the standard to be met earlier in 2011, although it is looking more likely that the actual implementation date will be 2012. However, as a result of a unilateral change of policy published at the time of the March 2011 budget, a more limited policy is now planned which, it is estimated, will only mitigate two thirds of the emissions of a new home.[70][71]

United States[edit]

Figure 3: Net Zero Court zero emissions office building prototype in "St. Louis, Missouri

In the "US, ZEB research is currently being supported by the "US Department of Energy (DOE) Building America Program,[72] including industry-based consortia and researcher organizations at the "National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the "Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), "Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and "Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). From "fiscal year 2008 to 2012, DOE plans to award $40 million to four Building America teams, the Building Science Corporation; IBACOS; the Consortium of Advanced Residential Buildings; and the Building Industry Research Alliance, as well as a consortium of academic and building industry leaders. The funds will be used to develop net-zero-energy homes that consume 50% to 70% less energy than conventional homes.[73]

DOE is also awarding $4.1 million to two regional building technology application centers that will accelerate the adoption of new and developing "energy-efficient technologies. The two centers, located at the "University of Central Florida and "Washington State University, will serve 17 states, providing information and training on commercially available energy-efficient technologies.[73]

The U.S. "Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007[74] created 2008 through 2012 funding for a new "solar air conditioning research and development program, which should soon demonstrate multiple new technology innovations and "mass production "economies of scale.

The 2008 "Solar America Initiative funded research and development into future development of cost-effective Zero Energy Homes in the amount of $148 million in 2008.[75][76]

The Solar Energy Tax Credits have been extended until the end of 2016. "Solar power in the United States

By "Executive Order 13514, U.S. President Barack Obama mandated that by 2015, 15% of existing Federal buildings conform to new energy efficiency standards and 100% of all new "Federal buildings be Zero-Net-Energy by 2030.

Energy Free Home Challenge[edit]

In 2007, the philanthropic Siebel Foundation created the Energy Free Home Foundation. The goal was to offer $20 million in global incentive prizes to design and build a 2,000 square foot (186 square meter) three-bedroom, two bathroom home with (1) net-zero annual utility bills that also has (2) high market appeal, and (3) costs no more than a conventional home to construct.[77]

The plan included funding to build the top ten entries at $250,000 each, a $10 million first prize, and then a total of 100 such homes to be built and sold to the public.

Beginning in 2009, "Thomas Siebel made many presentations about his Energy Free Home Challenge.[78] The Siebel Foundation Report stated that the Energy Free Home Challenge was "Launching in late 2009".[79]

The "Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the "University of California, Berkeley participated in writing the "Feasibility of Achieving Zero-Net-Energy, Zero-Net-Cost Homes"[80] for the $20-million Energy Free Home Challenge.

If implemented, the Energy Free Home Challenge would have provided increased incentives for improved technology and consumer education about zero energy buildings coming in at the same cost as conventional housing.

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon[edit]

The "U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an international competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. Achieving Zero Net Energy balance is a major focus of the competition.


New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island
Figure 4: Zero-Energy Lab construction on UNT campus in Denton, Texas

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Zero Energy Buildings: A Critical Look at the Definition Paul Torcellini, Shanti Pless, Michael Deru National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Drury Crawley, U.S. Department of Energy. National Renewable Energy Laboratory report: NREL/CP-550-39833 June, 2006" (PDF). 
  2. ^ "A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings" (PDf). US Department of Energy. September 2015. 
  3. ^ a b ""Net-Zero Energy Buildings: A Classification System Based on Renewable Energy Supply Options." Shanti Pless and Paul Torcellini. National Renewable Energy Laboratory report: NREL/TP-5500-44586, June 2010" (PDF). 
  4. ^ "Nearly Zero Energy Buildings". European Union. 
  5. ^ Baden, S., et al., "Hurdling Financial Barriers to Lower Energy Buildings: Experiences from the USA and Europe on Financial Incentives and Monetizing Building Energy Savings in Private Investment Decisions." Proceedings of 2006 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Washington DC, August 2006.
  6. ^ US Department of Energy. Annual Energy Review 2006 27 June 2007. Accessed 27 April 2008.
  7. ^ "Net Zero Energy - GSA Sustainable Facilites Tool". sftool.gov. 
  8. ^ a b Torcellini, P.; Pless, S.; Deru, M. (June 2006). "Zero Energy Buildings: A Critical Look at the Definition" (PDF). National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  9. ^ US DOE 2015 A Common Definition for Zero Energy Buildings (PDF)
  10. ^ Nsaliwa, Dekhani; Vale, Robert; Isaacs, Nigel (2015-08-01). "Housing and Transportation: Towards a Multi-scale Net Zero Emission Housing Approach for Residential Buildings in New Zealand". Energy Procedia. Clean, Efficient and Affordable Energy for a Sustainable Future: The 7th International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE2015). 75: 2826–2832. "doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2015.07.560. 
  11. ^ a b "Net Zero Energy Solar Buildings". International Energy Agency: Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Building examples[edit]

Planning tools[edit]

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