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Is Net Zero Building the Future of Building (or Wishful Thinking?)

Posted by Michael Stevens
Michael Stevens
Mr. Stevens possesses over 20 years of proven corporate marketing, sponsorship and sales promotion experienc...
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on Thursday, 08 November 2012
in Green Building
Is Net Zero Building the Future of Building (or Wishful Thinking?)

By Ashley Halligan, an analyst at Software Advice

As sustainable building trends continue to emerge, the ambitious goal of net-zero building continues to emerge among industry leaders. Imagining a building that literally produces as much--or more--energy than it consumes almost seems unachievable. However, both major organizations and small businesses are showing us exactly the opposite--with careful planning and responsible energy management practices. Net zero is achievable. But on how wide of a scale?

I recently had the opportunity to discuss the growing trend with a handful of industry professionals--including the Sustainable Manufacturing Manager at McCormick whom provided a promising case study of the transformation of one of their facilities--a 363,000 square foot distribution center which achieved net zero earlier this year.

Organizations are showing us that net zero is widely achievable with two primary steps: first addressing current consumption across a facility, and secondly--retrofitting a building to both reduce and produce energy.

Pike Research Zero Energy Graph
Generally, energy reduction retrofits include upgraded lighting and HVAC--meanwhile, photovoltaic solar (PV) panels are installed to produce remaining energy that can result in equilibrium. PV panels may sound like a hefty investment, but the prices of solar paneling are quickly dropping; furthermore, many energy supply companies are supplying and installing such installations as part of power purchase agreements requiring little, if any, up front investment from the organization. Finance payments, of sorts, can be made towards the cost of installation via energy savings over time.

And what do experts think of the future of net zero building? Obviously some organizations, depending on their nature, will have a much more difficult time in achieving ambitious goals like these.
Read the original story written to see what they say on the Software Advice blog: Breaking Down Net Zero Building: Reality or Wishful Thinking?
©Ashley Halligan
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To discuss how your company and project can benefit from our services as well if there are representation opportunities, please contact Michel (Michael) Stevens, President, at (800) 260-6008 ext. 301 PST or mstevens[at]greenprojectmarketing[dot]com. Skype ID: GreenProjMktg.