Certifying Bodies for Net Zero Energy Buildings

The certifying bodies for Net Zero Energy Buildings in the US A are :
A) Department of Energy
, DOE, an equivalent to the Malaysian Ministry of Energy
B) Zero Energy Commercial Building consortium
C) New Building Institute. NBI
A nonprofit organization that provides research and improved energy performance in commercial buildings
D)International Living Future Institute

The Programs surrounding the Net Zero Energy Buildings are :
1)2030 Challenge
The top 80% of 10 Architectural firms and 70% of the top 20 Architectural firms use The Challenge 2030.whereby all developments, new buildings and major renovation shall be carbon neutral by 2030 in the US and thereby reducing the temperature by 2 degree below the pre-industrial times.Net Zero Energy Buildings are also refereed too as Zero Energy Buildings.

2)Ashrae Vision 2020
Ashrae is a strong supporter of NZEB, and where Ashrae Vision 2020 was developed to promote energy Efficiency. NZE is defined as uses as much energy as it produces as measured at the site.

The Industry Codes and Regulations  surrounding the Net Zero Energy Buildings  in the world are: 
1)Security Act of 2007
2)Energy Independence and Security Act( Malaysian Renewable Energy Act)
3)California Public Utilities Commission
4)Massachusetts Zero Energy Building Task Force

5)European Union
The parliament passed a directive to achieve NZE by 2019 but focused on residential buildings and not commercial buildings: UK-Zero Carbon Hub to be carbon neutral by 2016, Germany-Passivhaus, Netherlands-energy neutral by 2020, France to be Energy positive by 2020.

The Building Codes surrounding the Net Zero Energy Buildings  in the USA are:  
1)IgCC– International Green Construction Code
This code is developed in conjunction with AIA,USGBC (MGBC-a Malaysian equivalent body –Malaysian Green Building Council) , 2)ASHRAE,ASTM,IES
3)CalGreen, California Green Building
4)Standard 189.1

The Building rating and Energy Labelling Systems surrounding the Net Zero Energy Buildings  in the USA are:

1) Energy Star
Is an energy labelling program of EPA( Environmental Protection Agency) and DOE( Department of Energy) It labels energy efficient products, homes, and commercial buildings. It scores on a table of 1 to 100.100 is a top performer. Energy Star does not recognize NZEBs. But the NZEB would score 90 in this program.
2) Leed/Green Building Index
The energy efficiency is the first and primary focus of the certification, one cannot obtain a platinum certification without designing for a high performance building. Incidentally the Net Zero building would easily obtain the Platinum with a marginal additional cost
3) Living Building Challenge by International Living Future Institute
Defines Imperatives for Net Zero Energy:

  • Net Zero Energy-if this imperative is not achieved it will not be qualified for the Living Building Challenge. The definition of NZEB are on: renewable energy, photo voltaic, wind turbines, water powered micro turbines, direct geo thermal. Biomass or combustion of any kind is not allowed. Hydrogen cell is allowed if energy is fueled by Hydrogen. Off grid connection is a must.
  • Site Imperatives-Site is restricted for gray fields and brownfields
  • Equity Imperatives-fresh air, sunlight and natural waterways
  • Beauty Imperatives-Beauty, spirit, inspiration and education

 

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Prepared by Ar. Perumal Nagapushnam

The common misconceptions about Net Zero Energy Building as reported by Wikipedia: A zero-energy building is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building yearly equal to the amount of energy created on the site. This is only partly true in the early day when this principle was first conceived. And to this day this is the common misconception among many .

In fact the energy (the energy pie) consumption is reduced to about 80% of the conventional consumption and then the balance 20% of the balance of energy is made up by the renewable energy, the renewable energy may be sourced from solar Photo Voltaic panels, geothermal, wind turbines or biomass energy.

This article is about the case for Net Zero Energy Building and why we should perpetuate this goal: There has always been some anticipation of imminent disaster that we need to be cautious about, such as the ones illustrated below:

  • Recently Bill Gates asked the, If some cataclysm, all scientific knowledge was destroyed, what is the one line fact that next generation of humanity needs to know!
  • About 50 years ago the question schools debated on was the earth was depleting its resources and the end is near.
  • Recently with the major obvious undeniable weather changes and so called global warming in the Arctic glaciers!

There have been many calls for Green Sustainability movement called -Going Green, thinking this is the solution to the impending juggernaut disasters. In reality the solutions in Green are really superficial and will not help very much with self reliance and self sustainability.

  1. When Japan faced the Fukusima earthquake that destroyed the Daiichi nuclear plant they experienced a power crisis that awaken to the importance of energy conservation and lead to the need for Net Zero Energy Building A new standard for construction was implemented to this end of 2020. We need Net Zero Energy Building for our future survival.
  2. One would think that even this should not be the goal would not suffice unless there was a total independence for electrical consumption and not be dependent on the utility company for energy consumption should be the ultimate goal, with Net Zero Energy Buildings which is off the grid. Net Zero Energy Buildings tend toward self reliance.
  3. Net Zero Energy Buildings reduced the waste in as much as 80% purely on the basis of passive strategies and shading, smart landscaping and other active strategies. The buildings are more efficient and low energy consuming where not wasting is reduced and resources and minimized;
  4. By installing Net Zero Energy Building you have clear conscious that you are  morally doing the right thing, stopping the unwanted wastage.
  5. By installing Net Zero Energy Building, you indeed saving money , which could be used meaningfully elsewhere, imagine the regular monthly bills amounting to USD200 could be used meaningfully else where.
  6. By installing Net Zero Energy Building you are responding responsibility to the climate changes demands that us undergoing world wide by reducing the foot print and closer towards becoming self sustainability for our future survival..
  7. By installing Net Zero Energy Building you have Value for your rent able space or value for property, Developers will find the Net Zero Energy Buildings as a marketing tool to bargain for higher rental compared to Going Green for certification. Green building do not receive higher rentals as tenants do no see the need to pay higher rentals for Green sustainability certified building.
  8. By installing Net Zero Energy Building, you secure government grants and benefits from most governments of the world.
  9. By installing Net Zero Energy Building you may receive taxation incentives
  10. By installing Net Zero Energy Building you don’t have to pay the monthly electric bill
  11. By installing Net Zero Energy Building you are making the buildings, cities ,world economies more efficient and  enhances the productivity of the  individual and collectively at large.

 

 

Prepared by Net Zero Energy Architect  Perumal Nagapushnam, Green Sustainability Architect

Here are reasons persuading for the case of Greening our Cities and Green Ecological Biodiversity for all Architects to be informed.

Reason 1-Remove the Heat Island effect by Green Ecological Biodiversity
It is known from research that the heat island effect is reduced as there is more green vegetation in the surrounding, the ambient temperature is lowered. Building aprons around the building which tend to conduct the heat into the building, therefore it is best to use grass Crete or turfs at the building surrounds in lieu of aprons. Road pavements should be replaced with grasscrete.

Reason 2- Reduces your energy consumption by Green Ecological Biodiversity
Smart landscaping reduces the energy consumption in the building, where it is primarily used for shading and warding off the heat from the building and in redirecting the cold wind winters away from the building will help to reduce the energy consumption by 10 to 50 percent of the energy bills. Shading the air conditioning units will help to improve energy efficiency. Read on save energy by landscaping.

Reason 3- Reduces pest controls and Waste by Green Ecological Biodiversity

compost

compost by Green ecological biodiversity

  • Pest controls –Green Ecological biodiversity will certainly go a long way to reduce pest controls, such as reduction of mosquitoes, rats which is a prevalent problem from New York to Singapore. In NYC which is a concrete desert , which has little trees resulted in an ecological imbalance of rat population, which as large as the human population in NYC. The problem arising from this imbalance is rat related diseases, oriental mites, etc. The solutions may be to enhance the Greening the city with Green ecological Biodiversity.
  • In the recent Greening of Singapore City, which was to green the city but failed to keep ecological bio diversities in place is keep away the bird and bats from the city, which resulted in an increase of mosquitoes and rats. The bird and bats eat up mosquitoes and rats and help to keep the balance. And eventually the recourse was to increase pesticides to kill the mosquitoes which in turn affect the water ways. The solutions to these cities going Green Ecological biodiversity.
  • Humus compost Waste– the waste from the Green landscape can be converted to natural humus compost, natural manure which helps the soil acidity in balance, healthy soils and keeps the bio-tic cycles( worms and living organism) of the soil in balance. When petrol-chemical based fertilizers are introduced into the soil, it destroys the worms and destroys the balance of the acidity of the soil and harden the ground and destroy the productivity of the soil whereas the compost based manure created by plants builds and keeps the soil soft and moist with a Eco balance.
compost bin

compost bin in Green Ecological biodiversity

Reason 4- Increase oxygen content in the air by Green Ecological Biodiversity
Oxygen is necessary for our bodies in the following respects: a lack of it creates a tendency toward committing suicides, In Utah there is an suicidal epidemic due to the lack of Oxygen in the thin air, and an aggressive greening strategy of Utah city will certainly help to reduce the thin levels of Oxygen in the mountain tops air.The green ecological biodiversity will introduce more oxygen into the air.

Green ecological biodiversity

Green ecological biodiversity cycles

 

There are many hundreds of other reasons why Oxygen is needed – for brain developments, speedy human body recovery, reduce respiratory diseases, improves immune system , which are emphasized in the alternative medicine .

Reason 5- Improves air quality by Green Ecological Biodiversity
Green trees ionizes the dust and the dust from the air falls to the ground and thus helping to keep the air scrubbed, fresh for human use.

Reason 6- Reduces the air pollution by Green Ecological Biodiversity
Further more the pollutants such as SO2, NO2 and Carbon Monoxide is removed by the trees and helps to keep the air refreshed

Reason 7- Reduce stress and helps recovery and sick leave by Green Ecological Biodiversity

  • It was discovered from researches that if beautiful scenes placed in hospitals bedrooms helps patient recover 30% faster and uses 30% less medication for recovery. This goes to say the same for homes and offices; we are resilient from the mental and physical stresses that we are inflicted at work by having green scenes in our building s and cities.
  • Research also reveals that the no of occupants taking sick leave is dropped with green ecological biodiversity. This will help to enhance the productivity of the staff and people.

Reason 8- Increases the value of property by Green Ecological Biodiversity
The investment on Green ecological biodiversity comes with an increase in the value of property . This based on the Green of Singapore resulted in overall increase in value of the city.. I refer to landscaping with Green ecological biodiversity and and not the “Go Green Certification movement” ( such as LEEDs, or Mark, GBI certification). A developer complaint that he does not get higher rental by having invested on Platinum certification by Green bodies.

Reason 9- Improves the presenteeism, decreases absenteeism and sick leave by Green Ecological Biodiversity
Research reveals that greening with landscape within the building and in the surrounding will tremendously improves the quality of life and decreases the absenteeism of the workers and tenants working in the building and this helps to increase the productivity of the occupants.

Reason 10-Improves the water quality by Green Ecological Biodiversity
As rain water is treated in the blue infrastructures that work in complement with the green infrastructures, water is stored and recycled for our consumption by water hydrology, which in turn reduces waste water and polluting the rivers. Bios vales are used to clean up the water, reprocessed and recycled for consumption even as portable water.

Reason 11Self Reliance and self sustaining by Green Ecological Biodiversity
The forest does not need human care such as watering the forest; neither does it need insecticide and pesticides to survive. We can learn from the natures bio-metric to be independent self sustaining and self reliant. If we can establish the green ecological biodiversity of plants and landscapes, biodiversity of the animals that inhabit the landscape and biodiversity of the Eco cycles that help symbiotically one cycle to another for survival can we be self sustaining and self reliant. The fish in a water tank, with enzymes, bacteria, fungi, green weed and the snails is self reliant. The weeds produces O2 for the fish to live on, which in turn produces C02 for the weed to live on, the enzymes and bacteria eats up the waste of the fish and keep the water clean. The symbiotic relationship exist and so should we as Architect do likewise for our future survival and self reliant sustainability.

 

Prepared by Net Zero Energy Architect Perumal Nagapushnam, Green architect

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