Zero-Energy Building Types
This particular type of building refers t building that requires zero energy consumption, which simply can be reduced to that a zero-energy home will renew the energy on-site it consumes over the year. This type of building accounts for fewer gas emissions which are released into the atmosphere and thereby contribute to a “greener” environment.
Even when these houses consume energy that is not renewable, they give back by reducing energy consumption at other occasions, and eventually, the amount of renewable and non-renewable energy equals out. These buildings get around 50% of energy from the community network or grid, but return the amount. Some houses might produce more energy while others get close to the zero- emission, so they are rightfully called energy-plus houses or very low energy dwellings.
The final goal of this type of building is to reduce carbon emissions since homes on a global level account for 30%-40% of carbon emissions currently, as well as to make them less independent on fossil fuels and more self-sufficient.
Thanks to academic research on renewable energy sources, new technological advances, and modern techniques, the smart grid was developed, and buildings and dwellings can be connected to it in order to save energy.
Different Types of Zero-Energy Buildings
Zero net site energy consumption refers to what we have already mentioned; the renewable energy produced in the homes equals the consumption of energy consumed. There is also the zero net source energy which includes energy production that covers the transfer of the energy to the home, and these homes can produce less energy than the zero net energy homes.
The Building Design
An energy-efficient home that sustains itself by producing renewable energy needs to be planned with great care. During the designing phase, cost-effectiveness should be taken into consideration in order to get the optimal results at lower costs. It takes a trick or two to make the home energy friendly, so zero energy designers usually use passive solar heat in combination with thermal mass in order to balance the variation between high and low temperatures. They also rely on superinsulation to avoid wasting heat. Also, all the technologies that are required for such a building type are not ready-made and have to customized for the specific purposes of the client (off-shelf availability).
Planning and designing this type of housing can be planned to the slightest detail with the 3-D house energy simulation tool whereby the function of the house can be tested, its orientation, window and door position, etc. The building that is supposed to save energy has to have efficient windows, walls, roof in order to generate cooling and heating naturally. The local climate is one of the crucial factors to be taken into account since they dictate how the house will perform and the house has to be able to generate energy in the local climate conditions. The zero energy buildings are supposed to have energy sources which will perform dual roles, like heating the building through body heat and computer servers.