Net Zero Buildings 101

Imagine being able to live your life in a modern dwelling, in an urban or rural setting, that produces zero carbon emissions. This is essentially what it means to be Net Zero. A Net Zero home produces its own renewable energy. The home also relies on energy conservation and efficient energy usage to avoid burning fossil fuels, or offset minimal levels of fossil fuel use. Office buildings or other commercial spaces can also be Net Zero! Net Zero living spaces directly address the reality of climate change by eliminating the carbon footprint of the homeowner, or business.

Specifically, Net Zero buildings are created by producing renewable energy onsite and by implementing measures of energy efficiency. Onsite solar energy production is an affordable renewable energy source. Local wind energy production can also provide electricity. Geothermal heating and cooling pumps can regulate the temperature in the space. Air sealing, thick insulation and properly placed windows (typically south side of building in our northern climate) will both minimize and maximize heat exchange throughout the seasons when heat is needed. Once all energy inputs of the building are met without any carbon emissions, the building is considered Net Zero. Net Zero buildings are certified by groups like the Living Future Institute.

Our owner, Martin Morud, is building his own Net Zero home, which we will discuss in more detail in a future blog post. If you are interested in building your own Net Zero home including a solar array, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free quote and some expert advice!

Net Zero

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