Design & Development Resources
This section includes resources on feasibility studies of zero energy on district, state, and national levels; cost studies which address the challenge of zero energy construction within budget; means of financing a zero energy project and incentive programs to support this; and technologies which support zero energy and zero carbon design.
As a result of advances in construction technologies, renewable energy systems, and other research, ultra-low, and zero energy design is becoming more achievable. Studies find that zero energy is technically feasible for most building types. Methods to achieve zero energy vary by building type, size, and location. In all cases, the key strategy is to reduce energy loads as much as possible before introducing renewables. Although much of this technology is widely available, often at a cost comparable to code-minimum systems, many stakeholders still see cost as a major barrier to zero energy buildings. However, studies show that zero energy is a cost effective investment – in many cases a better investment than a code minimum building, and it is even more justifiable when benefits such as health and environmental quality are taken into account. Many financing and incentive options are available from a variety of sources to encourage zero energy design and market growth.