Monday, April 30, 2012

Zero Energy Building (ZEB)...

A zero energy building (ZEB) or net zero energy building is a general term applied to a building with a net energy consumption of zero over a typical year. Zero energy buildings are gaining considerable interest as a means to cut greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy. Buildings use 40% of the total energy in the US and European Union.
This can be measured in different ways (relating to cost, energy, or carbon emissions) and, irrespective of the definition used, different views are taken on the relative importance of energy generation and energy conservation to achieve energy balance.
Although zero energy buildings remain uncommon in developed countries, they are gaining in importance and popularity. The zero-energy approach is promoted as a potential solution to a range of issues, including reducing carbon emissions, and reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Most ZEB definitions do not include the emissions generated in the construction of the building and the embodied energy of the structure which would usually invalidate claims of reducing carbon emissions. [1]
Imagine a facility that generates enough energy to meet all its own needs: This is the philosophy behind zero-energy buildings (ZEBs). The concept isn’t new, but the implementation is. Zero-energy homes are more the norm than zero-energy commercial buildings, but that may soon be changing. Companies such as San Jose, CA-based Integrated Design Associates Inc. (which is building the Z2 Design Facility highlighted in Building a Zero-Energy Commercial Office) are striving for net zero energy and zero carbon emissions.
As the idea gains traction, researchers work to develop innovative technologies that can make ZEBs a widespread possibility for all future new construction projects. Despite the fact that the application is somewhat limited today, the quest for zero energy remains one of the most dramatic means for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions attributed to commercial buildings. While the term “zero-energy building” has many definitions, it is most often defined as a building that produces as much energy on-site as it consumes on an annual basis. They are actually referred to as net-zero-energy buildings because they do use energy; however, the supply from on-site generation is equal to (or greater than) the facility’s demand.


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