Ashley Halligan, an analyst at Software Advice, recently published an article outlining the trending topic of net zero building. Halligan interviewed several experts including Brian Anderson, Founding Partner of Anderson Porter Design, Dru B. Crawley, former Commercial Buildings Team Lead for the Department of Energy and current Director of Building Performance at Bentley Systems, Jeff Blankman, McCormick’s Sustainable Manufacturing Manager, and Blake Bisson, VP of Sales & Marketing at Ekotrope.
Her article begins by defining net zero–that is, a building which, over the course of a year, has generated as much energy as it has consumed.
Citing the recent example of food conglomerate McCormick, the article explains how its 363,000 square foot distribution center in Belcamp, Maryland achieved net zero. Beginning with facility retrofits to reduce current consumption to as little as possible, the facility then installed a series of photovoltaic solar panels (PV) to obtain and store enough energy to create a consumption/production equilibrium.
The article also goes on to give practical advice for both current facility managers and design teams conceptualizing a net zero project. Integrated planning, thorough modeling and careful research are some of the steps required for success. The article closes with a discussion of whether or not net zero is an achievable feat on a wide-scale basis. The experts chime in with their thoughts on the future of net zero.
An eager but admirable achievement, net zero facilities have the potential to vastly affect overall consumption in the U.S.–after all, in 2011 alone, commercial buildings accounted for 40 percent of total consumption. And, with the implementation of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, federal buildings will be required to be net zero by 2030–and all commercial buildings by 2050.
Finding strategies to achieve this status now is a valuable and necessary role.
Read Halligan’s full story here.
Source: Newman Consulting Group
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