Net Zero Part II: A Closer Look.

February 15, 2021



What is a Net Zero Building?

A net zero building is a residential or commercial building whose energy needs can be reduced greatly, and matched or exceeded by the functioning of the building itself. 

Residential and commercial buildings use up to 70% of electricity in the United States. And consumption of such buildings has doubled between 1980 and 2000. This means it is crucial to the sustainability of energy consumption that new methods, materials, and designs begin to incorporate a net zero mentality. 

Net zero is rated on a 4 category system: Net zero emissions, net zero costs, net zero source energy and net zero site energy. In some cases the building will have a longer term offset. In other words, the construction of the building may create an initial carbon footprint, but that footprint will be offset in a designated period of time. Let’s say seven year, for example. In seven years the building will have offset the construction of the building and from that point moving forward it improves. 

Different types of buildings have different standards for what net zero means, and how it is accomplished. In other words a residential home may have a different accountability than an office building which will have a different accountability system then say, a recycling plant, or what have you. 

But the ultimate goal remains the same, that whatever purpose the structure serves that it eventually supplies more energy than it consumes. Imagine if all buildings achieved this?

Net zero buildings which are connected to the energy grid can at times use more energy than they supply, and at other times return that energy for other grid usages when a surplus is created. So it comes a design classification to build with all these, and many more, considerations during the development process. 

Channel Lumber is integrally involved with net zero ideation, and the green building movement. 

For more information, please contact us

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