How Builders Can Contribute to Zero-Energy Efforts

By Amanda Winstead

How Builders Can Contribute to Zero-Energy Efforts

With so many energy efficient innovations underway in the field of construction, it’s now easier than ever for builders to contribute to zero-energy efforts. In fact, they must recognize the significance of sustainability and how it impacts the future of their business.  

After all, residential and commercial sectors now consume around 40% of the nation’s fossil fuel resources. Additionally, growing concerns regarding climate change and the future of building materials have resulted in a shift toward zero-energy efforts in the construction industry.  

But why are these sustainability ventures important and what benefit do they offer to builders themselves? Follow along to learn more about how builders can contribute to a zero-energy lifestyle while reaping the benefits. 


What is Zero Energy & Why is It Important? 

Zero-energy buildings are structures that don’t consume more energy than they produce. In other words, as defined by the International Living Future Institute, “one hundred percent of the project’s energy needs [are] supplied by on-site renewable energy on a net annual basis.” 

You may be wondering how that’s possible. But this radical solution is already fast on its way to reducing our carbon footprint and changing the planet. While still an ambitious project, each year it becomes more and more affordable for everyday homeowners and business owners to achieve their zero energy goals. 

Regulatory oversight from state and federal governments means homeowners are slowly moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle. Commercial business owners, on the other hand, are driven by profit incentives and corporate sustainability goals to reach zero-energy status. 

Net-zero-energy status has the power to shift the tides of climate change. If all new constructions were built to a net-zero standard and existing structures retrofitted to meet net-zero specifications, our nationwide carbon footprint would be reduced by nearly 40%. That would represent an overwhelming win in the fight against climate change. 

Benefits for Builders 

Homeowners aren’t the only ones who benefit from net-zero buildings. As a builder, you may be wondering what personal benefits zero-energy efforts can offer you. Besides the massive impact carbon neutrality would have on society as a whole, there are tons of reasons why builders should contribute to the movement. 

Financial Returns 

If it’s money that motivates you, it’s time to do your research on sustainability and building! Energy conservation systems are just some of the surprising features that add value to your home. That’s why investing in net-zero efforts in the construction industry pays off big in the long-term, whether it’s for your own house or those you’re building. Buyers are more likely to pay a higher price for a home with modern, energy-efficient upgrades.  

Helping Combat Climate Change 

This one should go without saying, but constructing net-zero buildings goes a long way toward fighting global climate change. Everyone must do their part, and builders are in the unique position of being able to contribute to the energy efficiency of homes everywhere. Not to mention you’ll feel good about the work you’re performing and its potential to benefit the planet. 

Being on the Cutting-Edge of Building Technology 

It’s important to stay up to date on all the latest technological developments in the building industry, and most of these innovations are taking place in the clean energy field. When you design homes for the future, you show an astute awareness of industry trends and do your part to enact positive change. You and your clients will be all the better for this initiative years down the line. Invest in the future by participating in this massive shift in the building industry now. 


How to Contribute to Zero-Energy Homes 

The biggest way builders can contribute to zero-energy homes is by simply making structures as energy-independent as possible. There are a variety of ways to achieve this goal, and some of the most widely-used techniques include: 

  • Installing solar panels. 

  • Using energy-efficient HVAC systems and appliances, such as induction cooktops. 

  • Making sure the structure is airtight. 

  • Performing all construction with non-toxic materials and finishings.  

  • Using advanced fresh air systems. 

  • Making use of solar design principles. 

  • Integrating LED lighting. 

  • Maximizing efficiency of water systems.  

You may have such a knack for energy-independent building that you become a zero-energy professional. As a builder, that means you’ve developed the necessary skills and competencies to design energy-efficient home packages for your clients’ individual needs. 


Reap the Benefits of Zero-Energy Construction 

No matter your reasons for getting into the net-zero construction field, chances are you’ll never want to leave. The industry offers plenty of opportunities for career advancement as technologies progress and clean building practices become more accessible. Do your research to learn about how to cost-effectively build zero-energy homes, and you’ll be on the road to success in no time at all! 


Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.


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