As the industry continues to create more and more LEED Certified buildings the bar is continuing to rise in the marketplace. Not only through new versions of LEED, LEED 2012 is on track for release at the end of the year, but also with the reality of net-zero, or zero energy, buildings coming into our sights.
There have been a fair number of zero energy buildings completed to date however for the most part they are case studies and funded with additional monies. The most acclaimed zero energy building has been the Oberlin College Lewis Center for Environmental Studies. Here in Florida, the Florida Solar Energy Center completed a study on utilizing contemporary design and standard technology to create a zero energy home all the way back in 1998 building. More recently, TD Bank built a zero energy bank branch in Cypress Creek.
As we move towards a marketplace where anyone will be able to implement a net-zero building, the financial motivation is building. A recent study by Pike Research identified potential revenue of $1.3 Trillion by 2035 from zero energy buildings. Various long term regulatory devices are will help to fuel the transformation to zero energy buildings, such as the European Union’s Directive which will require nearly zero energy construction in all buildings by 2021. Here in the United States, Architecture 2030 and Executive Order 13514 are leading the innovation drive with a goal of all government buildings to be net zero by 2030.
– Mark Schrieber, LEED AP BD+C & Homes