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Residential net-zero energy buildings: Review and perspective



Wei Wu, Harrison Skye


Advancements in residential net-zero energy buildings (NZEBs) could significantly reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. NZEB design considerations broadly categorize into energy infrastructure connections, renewable energy sources, and energy-efficiency measures. Within these categories there are many technology options, which makes selecting the 'best' configuration more difficult but allows design flexibility to adapt to local climates and other considerations (i.e. building codes, energy resources, costs, etc.). This work provides an overview of each category including recent developments (last 10 years), aiming to provide references and support of broader and better implementation of residential NZEBs throughout the world. The discussed energy infrastructure connections include electrical grids, district heating/cooling networks, and energy storage options including vehicle-to-home and hydrogen storage. Renewable energy sources considered here are solar photovoltaic and thermal energy, wind energy, and biomass energy including micro CHP systems. The final category detailed is energy-efficiency measures, which include improved building designs, efficient HVAC systems, efficient domestic hot water systems, and phase change material integration.
Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews
May 2021


Energy efficiency, Heat pump, HVAC, Net-zero energy building, Renewable energy, Residential


Wu, W. and Skye, H. (2021), Residential net-zero energy buildings: Review and perspective, Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, [online],, (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created May 1, 2021, Updated October 12, 2021