The Living Building Challenge has released the Net Zero Energy Building Certification to provide clearer definitions regarding what net zero really means and how it is to be achieved. The new certification is a vast improvement over the previously murky standards, says eco pundit Lloyd Alter.
“There was no real satisfactory definition, no rigorous certification,” says Alter. “That is not true anymore.”
Notable aspects of the new certification include:
· Limits to Growth: Curbs the building’s contribution to the effects of sprawled development, which undermines the positive impact of achieving net zero.
· Net Zero Energy: Serves as the primary focus of Net Zero Energy Building Certification.
· Rights to Nature: Ensures that the building does not preclude another building from achieving net zero energy operation as a result of excessive shading.
Beauty + Spirit and Inspiration + Education: Underscore the notion that renewable energy systems can be incorporated into a building in ways that are attractive and inspiring.