Aiming for Net Zero Energy Consumption

The perfect building

If you are a commercial building owner, architect, engineer, or general contractor, maybe you have dreamed of what the “perfect building” looks like, feels like, and/or how it operates. At Major, we are specifically interested in how a building operates and by staying true to our mission we continue to keep our eyes on the future. We believe the future operations of a building are leaning toward Net Zero. Every year building energy codes get more and more aggressive, and in some localities such as Boulder, CO, one can expect that Net Zero will ultimately be the rule of the land for commercial buildings.

There are several definitions of Net Zero on the market, but the most recognized and simple definition of Net Zero is a building that produces as much energy ON-SITE as it consumes in a given year. For all the energy nerds out there this is also represented as a 0 Site Energy Use Index or EUI measured in KBtu/sf-yr. At Major, we believe very strongly in the future of Net Zero buildings, but we also believe that in order for Net Zero to be successful, it must not sacrifice the comfort levels we expect.

So this leads me to the idea of a “perfect building.” In my opinion, the perfect building is one that is Net Zero and also maintains a superior level of comfort. Now, skeptics may say that this is not possible, but there are plenty of Net Zero projects in operation today that would disprove this myth. Further, many of these Net Zero buildings were constructed at a cost comparable to market averages for their respective type of building. The perfect building has to be well thought out and planned with a team of professionals that is innovative and can collaborate effectively all the way from design through commissioning. The perfect building is going to have to have a tight envelope, and brilliantly combine technologies such as solar, geothermal, LED lighting, passive technologies, and be integrated by utilizing intelligent building automation strategies. Further, the perfect building should include social strategies that engage its tenants to consciously and sub-consciously contribute to the zero energy biospheres the team creates. This is no small task, but with professionals such as Major and our elite network of world-class experts on your team, you can believe that we can procure the perfect building and exceed expectations every time!

How to Use This Information

To get a feel for what types of Net Zero commercial projects have been completed in the market, we encourage you to research case studies at the US Department of Energy: Buildings Database and the New Buildings Institute.

If you are interested in learning more about Net Zero or low-energy buildings, or want to explore the feasibility for obtaining this level of perfection on your next project, please give us a call at 303-424-1622. One of our Net Zero Specialists will educate you on the concepts, costs, and team members needed to make this dream a reality. We can also arrange tours of these types of projects upon request for those who are serious about obtaining these goals, such as our Josephine Commons Housing Project in Boulder County, CO that exceeded energy goals by 68% with a low EUI of 24 KBtu/sf-yr!