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What are net zero buildings?

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 18, Jan 2022
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A net-zero energy building is one that relies on renewable sources to produce as much energy as it uses, usually as measured over the course of a year.

  • Homes and other structures that create almost as much energy as they use are sometimes called near-zero energy buildings.
  • It is also possible for a building to produce an energy surplus, sending excess back to the electrical grid.

Net-zero energy buildings start with energy-conscious design. Many features work without an energy source. For example:

  1. In cold climates, south-facing buildings with large expanses of windows on that side can produce heat through passive solar gain.
  2. On the cold north side of the building, smaller windows can angle to wider openings, permitting more light while limiting heat loss.
  3. In warmer seasons, passive ventilation systems can pull cool air up from the lower levels and vent it through the building’s highest point.
  4. Rooftop systems can collect rainwater to reduce usage of treated water.