Net-zero buildings are, by definition, buildings that use less energy than they produce over time. Effective net-zero design demands more than just piling on renewable energy sources. It requires an integrated process of evaluating needs, setting goals, and tailoring solutions to each project, site, and client.
For net-zero buildings to proliferate, AEC professionals need a new way to think about energy use in buildings. The Living Building Challenge offers an approach that goes beyond “doing less bad” to one that creates buildings that have a positive, regenerative impact on people and the environment.
After reading this article, you should be able to:
+ EXPLAIN how the Living Building Challenge influences the design approach to net-zero energy projects.
+ DISCUSS the “reduce/produce” approach to net-zero energy design.
+ LIST renewable strategies for various building types and project scales.
+ SUMMARIZE the relationship between building feedback and occupant behavior as it relates to successful net-zero energy design.