Net Zero: Is It Achievable and Cost Effective?

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Net Zero: Is it Achievable and Cost Effective? Net Zero is a term that refers to buildings that are able to produce enough energy in their daily operations to equal the amount of energy they consume. There are multiple ways that this can be achieved. One example is that a structure is able to produce all energy that is required to operate the building within the property lines or within the building footprint; this is ideally the best option, as it forgoes the need to continue to burn fossil fuels to generate power and sustain operations. Another way Net Zero can be achieved is that even though a structure might still require the use of non-renewable resources to operate, it is able to generate enough renewable energy that it completely offsets (or zeros out) the consumption of natural resources it consumed. The idea of Net Zero is a great idea; however it is important to understand what strategies are employed to achieve it, whether the benefits of striving for Net Zero outweigh the challenges, and whether or not it is a financially feasible option—if the cost is too high convincing clients to buy into it may be a waste of breath. There are many ways in which designers, architects, and engineers can employ practices to achieve a Net Zero rating. The use of day light in interiors is one of the most significant ways to reduce the amount of energy a building will consume, therefore reducing the amount of natural resources and carbon emissions produced by a single structure. This can be achieved through daylight sharing throughout the space, which involves careful planning of the building envelope. This includes deliberate and carefully placed skylights and windows, maximizing site orientation to minimize heat gain while capitalizing on what light can be brought into an interior. One way to achieve his is to incorporate the use of clerestory windows

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