What is a “Net-Zero Building”?
A net-zero building produces all the renewable energy it needs on site, drawing no more power from the grid than it gives back. A deep energy retrofit is the first step towards moving any building to Net-Zero. There are hundreds of tools in the industry we use to bring your building closer to net zero and save you money. The Net-Zero Energy imperative prohibits combustion of any kind as an energy source, including any use of onsite biomass such as wood chips or cord wood.
Carbon Footprint is directly proportional to the energy use per square foot and how that energy is generated. When the energy supplied to any building comes from a low or zero carbon emitting energy source then the carbon footprint of a particular building being measured will be low.
Reducing Energy Use (the “Drive to Net-Zero”)
The below graph is the national average annual energy use per square foot of a typical office building. In a typical office building, our company can reduce energy consumption between 30 to 70% from national average statistics. This is primarily done through energy conservation and efficiency. A properly sized wind and or solar power system will reduce any commercial and industrial energy use per square foot to net zero. Net zero buildings are usually still connected to the Grid with no battery back up power.
A new office or industrial building built to the latest ASHRAE building energy codes may only require a small renewable energy system to be classified as a net zero building.