The path to zero
January 20, 2014 | By HPAC Magazine
Zero net energy buildings are a growing trend in the commercial building industry.
The New Building Institute’s (NBI) 2014 Getting to Zero Status Update concludes that Zero Net Energy (ZNE) “has moved from an impossible concept to a quite probable future.” ZNE buildings have moved beyond a handful of small demonstration projects by universities or nonprofits to more widely mainstream types and sizes. While it concedes that the market is still small, the study reports that the number of buildings achieving ZNE verified performance or those targeting ZNE has more than doubled in just two years, from 60 in 2012 to a listing of 160 projects in the 2014 report (with six of these located in Canada). Further, the study shows that low energy use is the foundation to ZNE buildings.