Buildings account for nearly a third of the world s energy use today, and this share is expected to rise along with population growth and levels of prosperity. In the United States, residential and commercial buildings consume about 40% of primary energy use, or about 38.7 quadrillion BTU annually. A significant portion is electricity and natural gas, as shown in Figure 1. In 2006, residential and commercial buildings were responsible for 58% and 42% of the $392 billion associated with building energy expenditures in the U.S. (DOE 2009). If current trends continue, buildings could rise to the top of energy use worldwide, consuming more than industry and transportation combined (NSTC 2008). Net-zero energy buildings buildings which produce as much energy as they consume over a defined time period offer the potential to substantially decrease building energy use and enable buildings to become energy selfsufficient. Achieving the vision of netzero energy buildings will require the pursuit of multiple strategies, including development of new, cost-effective technologies and practices, revision of building requirements, integration of renewable energy into building designs,and innovative strategies for using energy and resources within the building and community. More widespread of existing technologies plays a key role. Studies have found that that through the use of currently available technologies, it is possible to reduce a building s energy consumption by 30 to 50%. Additional reductions of 20 to 30% can be realized through the use of advanced technologies integrated holistically with the building design. Renewable energy technologies will supply the remaining energy to achieve net-zero energy buildings.
Citation: Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1660Report Number:
NIST Pub Series: Technical Note (NIST TN)
Pub Type: NIST Pubs
Buildings, Energy, Measurement Science, Net-Zero Energy