News Analysis

Zero-Energy Buildings Attainable Across Climates, Researchers Say

Net-zero-energy commercial buildings are becoming more mainstream and don’t need to cost more, according to a recent report from the New Buildings Institute (NBI). The report compiles a list of 21 verified zero-energy buildings (ZEBs) and 78 zero-energy-capable buildings (ZECs) in the U.S. and Canada in order to discover what features the buildings share and to examine incremental costs.

“When we looked at the measures for constructing these buildings, there was nothing outside what’s available today,” said Stacey Hobart, communications director at NBI. Although they all use highly efficient equipment, there was no “super advanced technology that is not commonly known or used,” she told EBN. And while the buildings tend to be small and some are unusual types, such as visitor centers and field houses, the number of larger net-zero schools and office buildings is growing.

Published March 26, 2012