Posted by: Luca Brammer | Posted on: February 7th, 2011 | 0 Comments
For fans of building green, the buzzword on everyone’s lips is netzero (more commonly, “net zero”). If you haven’t had the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the concept, you may be wondering what a net zero home is – and, perhaps, what it isn’t. For that reason, we offer a quick Q&A on the net zero home.
Q: What does net zero mean?
A: In short, a net zero home is an energy neutral home. It only consumes as much power from the public grid as it can produce or save. On-site power generation is the key to obtaining true net zero status; this can be achieved through various renewable technologies including solar and wind technologies, smaller spaces for minimized HVAC demands, and high-tech insulation to effectively manage indoor temperature.
Q: Is a net zero home the same as a green home?
A: Not always. A LEED certified green home may contain a number of energy saving features, but still consume thousands more kilowatts of energy than it creates – which means that it is not a net zero home. When seeking a builder for your netzero green home, it’s important to be sure the builder offers a real net zero package, rather than capitalizing on the net zero craze without implementing the proper infrastructure.
Q: Are all net zero homes created equally?
A: No. Some builders claim “Net Zero” because enough solar panels have been added to the home’s roof to produce more energy than the inefficient home they power demand (Expensive). Just adding more solar can be a costly proposition and does not satisfy the need for thoughtful design. Our net zero homes are designed with proprietary technology that reduces the amount of energy your home uses, without changing your daily habits.
Q: Are net zero prefabricated homes better than a stick built?
A: If “better” means more affordable and effective, then yes; net zero prefab homes may certainly be the better choice. A net zero prefab home is likely to require less HVAC energy than a traditional stick built home, thanks to a more compact design and the lower cost of insulating it.
Plus, today’s prefab builders often know what green homebuyers want in a way that traditional builders don’t. Net zero is a concept that’s gaining serious traction (right up to the White House); so, it’s easy for builders who market themselves as green to tack “net zero” onto their claims, in hopes that buyers won’t question the validity. By contrast, a custom prefab builder can work with you step by step to ensure your home is truly net zero.
For more information on net zero prefab homes, contact Hallmark Southwest today!