• mark turnquest

What is Net-Zero and Net-Positive Building?

Updated: May 30, 2019



What is Net-zero & Net-Positive Building?The cost definition just means that the annual energy bill would be zero, which can be accomplished by over-producing electricity in the summer, running the meter backwards, and then using the accumulated "credit" in the winter. With "time of use metering" one can benefit by limiting usage during peak hours, achieving net-zero cost before reaching net-zero energy. The higher goal is to actually offset all energy (kWh) on an annual basis, completely eliminating the operating carbon footprint.

While following many of the same principles and technologies as net-zero building, the notion of net-positive energy building introduces two new perspectives: network or district; alternative energy resources other than renewable energy.The term "net-zero" energy or (NZE) describes the concept of buildings generating their own energy needs by renewable on-site power generation. This is typically done by photo-voltaic (PV) panels, sometimes by wind mills or a combination. There are several definitions of what "zero" means, the most common ones being net-zero "cost" or net-zero "site energy".

The challenge for evaluating net-positive building based on net-zero building is that net-positive building’s goal goes beyond energy conservation. The goal of net-positive building is to explore the possibility of adding value for users and occupants. The additional value might be increased productivity, occupants’ well-being, and energy savings beyond the individual building’s boundary. “Rather than considering only the generation of more exported energy versus its importation to individual buildings or the grid, the emphasis shifts to the maximization of energy performance in a system-based approach.” (Cole et al., 2015).

While following many of the same principles and technologies as net-zero building, the notion of net-positive energy building introduces two new perspectives:- Network or district; Alternative Energy resources other than renewable energy.



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