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What are Net Zero & Near Zero Buildings & Their Benefits?

September 28, 2017 | Written by: Gary Bizek

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There is a growing trend among commercial and residential owners to choose net zero or near zero building design and construction. Zero energy buildings have better insulation, are air-tight and more energy efficient than ordinary buildings.

Such buildings provide almost equivalent renewable energy as their annual consumption so that the occupants will have a carbon-free home or office with zero-energy bill.

Zero Energy Homes

Zero energy homes are way beyond ‘green’ homes. The design brings together superior building systems and advanced design involving on-site solar panels and energy efficiency to create better homes. Some of the key features of such homes include:

  • Healthier
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Sustainable?
  • Quiet
  • Affordable to live in

While ‘green’ buildings make the most of the natural resources and consume minimal energy than traditional buildings, net zero buildings make 100% use of natural resources and consume zero energy.

Benefits
Net-zero buildings are the most eco-friendly buildings and look like conventional buildings. They produce all the energy that is consumed using a wide range of strategies. Such buildings are affordable, economic and an increasing number of homeowners and business owners want to invest in them. At the end of the year, such buildings can do much more than generate more energy that what is consumed by the occupants. Some of the key benefits of such buildings include the following:

1. More Comfort & Improved Health
Net zero or near-zero buildings are more comfortable and healthier to live in. Such buildings are designed and built to higher standards. The focus of the design and construction is on the following features:

  • There is clean air available for breathing
  • Most comfortable temperatures exist without having to rely much on the heating/cooling systems
  • The indoor environment is shielded from outdoor temperatures and noise

A net-zero home is also free from toxins and allergens.

2. Net-Zero Homes Save Money
Even if the initial cost of investment is slightly high in such buildings, they save you money in the long-term. The cost of living in such homes is much lower compared to conventional homes, allowing you to recoup the initial investment in the long run. Such buildings are also shielded from the increase in energy costs. You will continue to bear the same cost to run the same electrical fittings even after a decade.

3. Net Zero Buildings are Durable
Another benefit of net zero buildings is that they are more durable. Quality is one of the cornerstones of construction of such buildings. They feature the use of materials that help ensure thicker and air-tight walls. They feature sophisticated window systems and the use of natural resources to create more durable and stronger building structure.

Net zero or near-zero buildings are superior to most of the currently used building designs and concepts. Thus, there are many benefits of investing in such a building. There is a growing trend in Calgary and across Alberta to invest in such building that prove to be much more cost effective in the long-term.