Net-Zero Energy Building – What Does it Mean?
A net-zero building exhibits zero net energy consumption – the total amount of energy that the building uses annually is generally equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site. The architecture cleverly balances the energy it needs with the energy it produces from renewable, zero-emissions sources. The architects , engineers and builders work together in designing and constructing to these environmental standards which offers significant operational and maintenance costs savings, lower environmental impact, long-term improvements in energy efficiency, and better resiliency to power outages and natural disasters. Several Federal executive orders and legislation, as well as State and local initiatives and industry programs, have established Net Zero Energy targets. The U.S. Department of Energy has released a full report on net-zero energy buildings, and more information can also be found through the Sustainable Facilities Tool, as part of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings.
Another program we follow is the Living Building Challenge, an international sustainable building certification program created for architects and others involving in the built environment to guide sustainable development. This program is administered by the non-profit International Living Future Institute. It is described by the Institute as “a philosophy, advocacy tool and certification program that promotes the most advanced measurement of sustainability in the built environment.” The Living Building design principals can be applied to architectural projects of all scales, from buildings – both new construction and renovation projects - to infrastructure, landscapes, neighborhoods and planning communities. The Living Building Challenge is even more sustainably rigorous than the United States Green Building’s LEED program.
Sustainable Design the Sparano + Mooney Way
Sparano + Mooney Architecture is passionate about creating innovative and modern sustainable design solutions for our extraordinary clients. As experts in sustainability in architecture, we offer our clients an integrated set of green design services including: sustainable design guidelines and audits, sustainable project planning, passive design, LEED consulting services and LEED certified architecture, and net zero energy projects. In producing architecture within some of the most spectacular landscapes in the western region, we are focused on projects with lower impact in the architecture and its development, and minimizing waste and resource use. Our clients see sustainable design is a triple win: green design is good for people, good for business, and good for the environment. The Sparano + Mooney architects seek to develop the architectural potential of each project while ensuring occupants are comfortable and inspired, contractors are building efficiently and responsibly, and owners realize lower first capital and operating costs. Our LEED-accredited professional team brings an integrated sustainable design approach to each project – the resultant architecture is grounded in timeless design principles inspired by nature, including passive design, optimal solar orientation, incorporating day-lighting and natural ventilation, the harmonious relationship between building and site, and green materials and finishes.
We are excited to work on this challenging new project for the City of Los Angeles – watch this community recreation space develop!
U.S. Department of Energy http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/downloads/common-definition-zero-energy-buildings
Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings https://sftool.gov/plan/420/net-energy
Living Building Challenge, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_Building_Challenge