Zero-Net Energy Buildings Are Game Changers in Green Engineering

Steward Hudson

June 25, 2014

3 Min Read
Zero-Net Energy Buildings Are Game Changers in Green Engineering

Choosing green energy over the mainstream hydroelectric energy can surely save you some green in the pocket in the long run. The construction of buildings requires huge amounts of energy and other resources such as clean water to run efficiently and effectively. A good 40% of energy is used by buildings in the US. In the same context, greenhouse gas emissions are also at a 40% high. If the same scenario persists, the highest amount of energy consumption will be by buildings in a decade.

To deter the construction and building industry from taking over energy consumption, it has become crucial to erect zero-net-energy (ZNE) buildings. The ZNE buildings can be the answer to today's energy-focused challenges to reduce energy consumption and derive energy from green or renewable sources. The use of ZNE technology buildings not only reduces cost and creates renewable energy, but it can give a boost to the economy. The implementation and execution will require a workforce, which means the technology can result in increased employment.

Today, there's a major need for green technology to ensure that construction and building sectors can survive without spending huge amounts of energy in the near future. Using green technology, and environment-friendly ways, electrical engineers are needed to create effective and efficient buildings to achieve higher productivity, efficiency, and an overall increase in performance of the buildings.

There are some potential steps that engineers and architects need to take as parts of a collaborative effort to create ZNE buildings to save energy in the future. While green energy buildings are possible, the efforts and investment required for research and development in the field are huge.

Engineers must come up with environmentally friendly ways to develop sensors and to measure and control the energy that's used in the buildings to create renewable energy effectively and use it for further purposes. Creating energy-friendly building designs through value engineering can help set a structural layout for future engineers and architects to design green buildings.

Engineers should set up decision models to validate, modify, and verify in order to help identify loopholes, then take corrective measures to create safe, secure, and high-performance green buildings. Finally, they need to find ways to reuse wastewater in order to create renewable energy for future building needs.

With technological advancement headed toward creating energy-efficient buildings and homes, green engineering is soon to take over all areas of construction and architecture. This includes environmentally friendly buildings that are constructed with collaborative efforts of engineers, architects, and owners to enhance the usability, execution, and effectiveness that will eventually result in increased productivity and profits for businesses.

—Steward Hudson is a researcher/blogger with experience writing for multiple industries including health, energy, finance, and more. He currently writes for electrical engineering company Current Solutions PC of White Plains, NY.

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