A Glimpse of Zero Energy Buildings

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What is a Zero Energy Building?

With the exponential times, the one most terrifying issues is that of global warming and environmental degradation. Excessive carbon in the atmospheric air is the principal factor which depletes the ozone layer and results in temperature variations. Do we want our future generations to face an energy crisis in day to day lives? One great solution to this is Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs) – these are uniquely designed special buildings that consume zero energy and have a net zero carbon emission round the year.  Though these buildings are yet not so common even in the developed countries, they are being highly recommended are appreciated worldwide. The Zero energy buildings consume zero energy from the fossil fuels and have appliances and devices running on the solar energy. Also, the conditioning of air is achieved by using natural breezes and the cool of the earth below the building itself.

Advantages

  • The price hike in energy in future times is not a thing to worry about as the energy is harvested in-house.
  • More comfortable environment as they a have uniform interior temperatur
  • Less requirement of energy as the energy is reused.
  • Reduced cost of ownership as the energy efficiency is increased.
  • When the ZEB is used for residential purpose, the net cost of living is decreased.

Disadvantages

  • Initial construction cost is higher as a variety of new methods is employed to make an eco-friendly construction.
  • Designers and technicians having the knowledge of building the ZEB’s are rare and hence it is difficult to find the right one for the construction of a ZEB.
  • The need of energy for the entire building has to be satisfied and this might get difficult to achieve at times.
  • Solar energy capture becomes difficult in the region or locations those obstructed by the sun.

Examples of ZEB’s:

  • Green Idea House, California
  • Pearl River Tower, China
  • BedZED, United Kingdom
  • The Mission Zero house, Michigan
  • The 31 Tannery Project, New Jersey

 

Difference Between ZEBs and Green Buildings

  • The primary difference between the ZEB and the green building is the way of operation. Zero energy buildings are eco-friendly in their operation whereas the green buildings are eco-friendly in their construction.
  • In ZEB the energy is harvested on-site using solar and wind energy. This energy is then consumed, recycled and reused in the building. In green buildings, the energy is not harvested on-site but it is efficiently used without any wastage and energy, including water is constantly saved.

Though there are some disadvantages, the Zero Energy Building’s are the need of an hour. They are an ideal way towards sustainable development and a right choice to do our share towards the environment.