Cost-effective zero net energy homes begin with "smart design". During the design phase energy efficiency of the home is one of the most important considerations. Other major factors include qualities of windows and doors, the amount of glass used, orientation of the building, passive solar gain, the use of solar energy via solar VP panels, appliance and hot water efficiency, HVAC performance and a fresh air supply, LED lighting, and more. So along with a floor plan that serves the homeowner well, and with all the architectural features that was determined for the home project, meeting or exceeding the high energy performance standards of today's capabilities is of utmost importance.
As pointed out in the Zero Energy Resources Hub at zeroenergy.org,
"Zero Energy Buildings are so energy efficient that all energy loads can be balanced with renewable energy sources."
Three Reasons Zero Energy Buildings are Important:
1. Economically achievable: Completed projects have proven that a zero energy building can be designed within a typical construction budget using conventional materials, equipment, and tradespeople.
2. Prioritize efficiency: Successful zero energy projects reduce energy use before adding renewables.
3. Better outcomes: A zero energy building can be more comfortable for occupants, is reliable and affordable to operate, better for the environment, and can instill widespread community pride.
And in a video posted on YouTube by the US Department Of Energy, titled What Is Zero Energy Building?, it is stated "Most buildings today use a lot of energy -- to keep the lights on, cool the air, heat water, and power personal devices. Even installing solar systems will not significantly counter the heavy energy load. There are, however, some buildings that strike a balance; or even tip the scales the other way! These are called zero energy buildings."
Below is the video link:
So with a focus and "building smart", making sound decisions that will deliver a more durable low maintenance home, a healthier and quieter living environment, higher resale value, and a lower cost of home ownership, the validation is here that it is the right time for planning a Zero Energy Building for one's residence or commercial structure.