The efficiency of an HVAC system is imperative in designing net–zero–energy building projects.
Net-zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) employ the latest materials, technologies, practices, and controls in order to not only minimize energy usage, but also produce as much or more energy than the building consumes. As these buildings become more popular, HVACR manufacturers are working to create highly efficient products and systems to help meet these ambitious performance goals.
THE RISE OF NET-ZERO-ENERGY BUILDINGS
Mark Stimson, business development manager, Bosch Thermotechnology Corp., said there are several trends driving the growth of NZEBs. “The resurgence of the building industry, builders’ interest to sell a differentiated product in a more competitive market, and new building codes encouraging less energy use and more on-site renewable energy generation are all factors,” he said.
Richard Holzer, managing principal engineer, Southland Industries, said the impacts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on climate change coupled with rising energy costs are primary drivers for the green building and sustainability movement. “The size of the green building market is increasing, and the rising popularity of NZEBs is an outgrowth of this trend,” he said. “In addition, policies, codes, regulations, and incentives are even greater drivers of this ever-growing trend. All levels of government, ranging from federal and state agencies to city government and institutional users, are beginning to impose net-zero-energy policies. Also, the cost of photovoltaic panel equipment is decreasing while efficiency is increasing, making NZEBs economically viable.”