a carbon neutral building: necessary technology for our future

A carbon neutral building is one that produces zero emissions and has zero net energy consumption.  The buildings are also referred to as ZEBs (zero energy buildings). It is not that the buildings lack electricity or modern conveniences. It is that they are well insulated, have the most energy efficient appliances and make some or all of their own energy.
Some designers use design sustainable approaches and make use of photovoltaic solar panels.  The newest panels contain no lead, the lead content was a problem in the older models.  Today’s goal is to create no new pollution in manufacturing or use. Other designs make use of electricity-producing wind turbines.  Designers typically choose the energy-production approach best suited for the location.  Solar panels are better suited for urban areas.  Wind turbines are better suited for rural locations.

consuming fossil fuels

Research has shown that conventional buildings consume 40% of the total fossil fuels used in the US and the European Union.  In other words, putting gasoline or petrol in our cars is not the only problem. Much of the electricity in the US and Europe is produced by coal-powered plants.  In some cases, a coal-powered plant is the only option. The safety of nuclear energy around populated areas is questionable.   Not every community has access to a hydroelectric dam. Green building technology is not quite the same thing as carbon neutral.  It could be, but in most cases the term refers to the use of recycled or sustainable building materials. Green buildings are designed to use less energy.  They are not always designed to produce their own. An example would be a passive solar home.  Homes of this kind are built in such a way as to make use of the sun’s heat in the winter, while shielding the occupants from it in the summer.  A number of passive solar communities sprang up in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  

Designing a carbon neutral building

Green building technology has come a long way since then. Architects and designers know more about the effects caused by simple things, such as painting a roof black as opposed to white. White reflects the sun’s heat so that less ends up inside and the entire community is cooler. Contact a professional like ACI Exteriors for options such as installing white roofing to your home. Some of the design ideas used today are not new.  Leaving a stand of old growth trees to create a wind break for a housing development is one of the old ideas. Designing a carbon neutral building is a new idea. There is a great need for this new technology.

Green Building Technology