Net-Zero Energy & Renewables

U.S. Department of Energy (public domain)

With alternative energy sources becoming more affordable, we are finally starting to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.

But as the industry expands, there are some growing pains. These systems open up new ways of thinking about our relationship to energy production and consumption, and they impact rating systems such as LEED and Passive House.

The resources found here provide guidance and a better understanding of topics like:

  • net-zero energy

  • thermal energy storage

  • innovative battery systems

  • fuel cells

  • community solar

Net-Zero Energy & Renewables

Deep Dives

Get up to speed on complex topics. You can also earn CEUs and download PDF Spotlight Reports.


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  • Is Nano a No-No? Nanotechnology Advances into Buildings

    Feature Article

    Nanotechnology takes advantage of the novel properties that particles can exhibit at a billionth of a meter in size. Those properties are being used in building materials, where they can improve thermal performance and the effectiveness of photovoltaics, among many possibilities. The field has little regulation, however, despite significant health and environmental concerns.

  • The Challenge of Existing Homes: Retrofitting for Dramatic Energy Savings

    Feature Article

    Greenhouse gas emissions associated with residential energy use account for a fifth of all emissions in the U.S. Retrofitting existing houses to achieve a two- to three-fold reduction in energy use is necessary if we are to achieve the emissions reductions scientists say are required for avoiding catastrophic climate change. Here's a look at how it can be done.

  • In the Pipeline: District Energy and Green Building

    Feature Article

    Very common in northern Europe, district energy systems use a network of buried, insulated pipes to distribute centrally produced steam, hot water, or chilled water to heat or cool multiple buildings. These systems can make use of waste heat from power generation (combined heat and power) or renewable fuel sources to help reduce the environmental impacts of buildings and communities.

  • The Secret Math Behind RMI’s New Headquarters

    Feature Short

    Designing for net-zero energy and carbon in the nation’s coldest climate is not just a physics problem. There’s also the chemistry.

Quick Takes

Jump straight to the essentials with these short explanations of green building concepts.


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Product Guidance

Unbiased information from our product experts helps you separate green from greenwash.


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  • Measuring Solar Access with the Solmetric SunEye

    Product Review

    The SunEye is an easy-to-use, digital tool for measuring solar shading and calculating daily and monthly solar access on building sites.

  • Climate Energy Brings Combined Heat and Power Home

    Product Review

    The idea of combining electricity generation with the production of useful heat-referred to as combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration-has long been attractive. Now, after many false starts, a viable residential-scale CHP system is about to enter the market.

  • Wind Turbines on the Parapet

    Product Review

    AeroVironment, Inc., is introducing a new approach to small-scale wind generation that takes advantage of the rush of wind as it crests a building's facade.

In The News

We break news down to the essentials and provide expert analysis.


Perspective

Thought-provoking opinions from the most trusted minds in sustainability.


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Learning Resources

A wide range of education options, with automatic reporting for AIA and GBCI.


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Just For Fun

Something weird happens every April at BuildingGreen...


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