Net Zero Energy Reached its Tipping Point in 2012 — Making Net Zero Building Affordable and Practical Today


The tipping point for Net Zero homes and office buildings was 2012. That’s when Professional Builder reported on the fact that “the growing number of production builders focused on bringing net-zero energy homes to the masses.” Net Zero is where all energy consumption in a building is offset by the structure’s energy production system.

The article further states: “Unlike their predecessors in the budding ZEH (zero-energy homes) market, which made a living by designing and building primarily one-off, high-cost zero-energy homes, these builders are keenly focused on offering ZEHs on a production scale, and at price points that are affordable to virtually anyone who walks into their sales centers and models.” This watershed moment in the building industry means that Net Zero energy structures have gone mainstream.

Solid Green Companies has seen this reality play out first hand — as a growing number of builders, architects, developers, and building owners recognize that not only does building Net Zero structures create higher performing homes and offices, but also the structures deliver a lower total cost of ownership and faster ROI than conventional structures. Plus, on the building-cost equation, advances in Net Zero building methods and materials, like EPS foam walls and roofs, allow builders to construct buildings affordably and efficiently.

“Net Zero is the place to be today,” says David Carolan, Founder and CEO of Solid Green Companies. “It’s at the point where it’s cost competitive with conventional building methods, but it’s much more in demand by the public at large — who want higher-quality, lower-energy offices and homes.”

According to Amber Wood, P.E., manager of energy programs with the NAHB Research Center, “We’re definitely seeing growth in this market, especially among production builders. One of the ways they’re differentiating themselves is through net-zero homes, whether as an option or standard.”

The Professional Building article overviews Net Zero projects for production builders, including Meritage Homes, KB Home, Nexus EnergyHomes, Zeta Communities, and Wathen-Castanos Hybrid Homes.

It also discusses Net Zero best practices such as a tight building envelope, right-sizing HVAC systems, energy production, energy modeling, and energy performance measurement. “Our methodology mirrors the recommendations cited in this article,” notes David.

Read the whole article here.

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