A new study by Boulder, Colo.-based Navigant Research projects that public- and private-sector efforts to lower the carbon footprint of new and renovated commercial and residential structures will boost the annual revenue generated by commercial and residential zero energy buildings (ZEBs) over the next 20 years by 122.5%, to $1.4 trillion.
This study cites the lack of unified standards bodies as a barrier to the growth of ZEBs. It forecasts revenues for six product and service categories—lighting, walls and roofing, HVAC, glazing, renewable energy, and soft costs—by geographic and national regions, with specific emphasis in the U.S. on California and Massachusetts.
“The global zero energy building market has many pockets of potential growth, but challenges remain in defining what exactly a ZEB is, as well as raising awareness of the increasing accessibility of these solutions,” said Noah Goldstein, research director with Navigant Research. “The strongest driver for this market is regulation, as policies like the European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and California’s evolving Title 24 building code bring ZEB markets into being for new commercial, new residential, and retrofitted commercial spaces.”
The technology and equipment associated with the building envelope are developing rapidly, reducing the soft costs associated with ZEBs, according to the report. New developments in building envelope materials, along with innovative manufacturing techniques for windows and glazing, should help lower the energy use intensity of buildings. This focus on improved envelopes is expected to aid the greater building ecosystem, reducing energy costs for non-ZEBs, as well.