The energy generated to power a building or project must originate from renewable sources according to any definition of “net zero.”
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is a global authority on energy and engineering, describes net zero as, “a building which, on an annual basis, uses no more energy than is provided by the building’s on-site renewable energy sources.”
Load reduction—lowering society’s overall energy consumption—is the first step toward a net zero society. We should concentrate on the energy performance of all new and existing buildings rather than just the net zero statistics.
We must redefine the ideal net zero building as a net zero project that extends beyond one building or property, anchoring its end goal in building performance and its contribution to a net zero community. And a net zero future to close this gap in current net zero thinking.