Despite short-term price fluctuations, energy costs will continue to rise over the long term, driving greater interest in building that produce as much or more energy as they consume.
The pace of growth in Zero Energy Building (ZEB) construction will grow even faster than recent estimates done by Navigant Research, who indicates the market growing to $1.4 trillion in 2035, according to William A. (Bill) Turner, PE, LEED AP®, Sr. VP of The H L Turner Group Inc. (Turner Group) and President/CEO of Turner Building Science & Design, LLC.
“What we are experiencing on the ground level is rapid acceleration in the number of owners and builders going towards a Zero Net Energy platform,” Turner said. “We are now able to demonstrate cost effective strategies on a wide variety of building types that allow green buildings to also be high performing buildings. The introduction of the LEED rating system clearly helped the green building marketplace to flourish. However, now that the enthusiasm over Gold and Platinum plaques has waned, building owners are more keenly focused on building long-term value into their green buildings. Zero Net Energy buildings are now the new holy grail within the green building construction marketplace.”
Harold Turner, PE, President & CEO of The H L Turner Group Inc., added, “By now all of us have come to understand that, despite the short term fluctuations that occur in the cost of energy due to a number of factors, long term energy prices continue to rise as a worldwide commodity. Building owners and developers are learning that there is real ROI value created in constructing high performance buildings that shows up in sales levels, annual operating costs, and resale pricing. Pocketbook issues have always been associated with building green. However, going further than just green by adding high performance features changes the dynamics. People don’t have to waste time debating climate change, they can do ZEB construction now based purely upon the economic fundamentals, which only get better over time as energy costs increase.
Greenenergy Communities ™ is an example of one residential building developer who offers homes in California and Florida that are exclusively Zero Net Energy (ZNE) homes. They are certainly not alone, with ZNE buildings and builders popping up in every part of the country, along with clear initiatives in that direction coming from manufacturers, designers, and building codes. In 2010 the Turner Group initiated the development of The ROSE Cottage Project, which was completed in 2012 and is located in a rural neighborhood in the capital city of Concord, NH.
In addition to being a ZNE home, this green building project features multi-generational use and aging-in-place features as part of a sustainable design that incorporates long life cycle values. The ROSE Cottage Project was the basis for Turner Group designers winning the 2013 Marvin Architect’s Challenge Showdown as well as a 2013 Bosch Green Living Award. The ROSE Cottage Project was the first single family home built as part of a privately funded RCMZeroEnergy.com educational website used to promote the use of the zero-net construction through web-based contact with consumers, builders, and developers, together with its free e-newsletter “The Zero Net”.