Net zero energy (NZE) buildings—those that are responsible for the production of as much (or more) clean energy as they use annually—have been gaining momentum around the world. And now, there are even net zero energy districts being contemplated, like Fort Collins’s Fort ZED, Arizona State University, and UC Davis’s West Village. However, there still remains an industry-wide perception that net zero energy is too expensive, or comes at a much higher incremental cost over business as usual. Master developers of NZE districts face the challenge of driving exceptional energy performance without deterring prospective parcel developers or incurring exorbitant development costs themselves. Prospective parcel developers may fear that stringent performance requirements will require higher upfront capital costs or that achieving ultra-low energy buildings will not be cost-effective in the long run, compared to business as usual. Prospective tenants of NZE developments may fear that additional construction costs will get passed through to them in the form of higher rents, or that the ongoing cost of procuring renewable energy may be higher than conventional energy bills.
Renew Economy 5th Aug 2016 read more »