The Benefits of Net-Zero Energy Homes

The green movement has made tremendous progress over the past several years. LEED standard buildings are becoming more and more common in cities all over America, big corporations are becoming more eco-friendly, and average people everywhere are taking their own steps towards a more sustainable future. Hybrid electric cars are becoming more prevalent on the roads, and alternative energy sources are being researched more actively than ever before. In the middle of all this progress, green construction is really taking off. Today, builders are no longer simply striving for energy efficient buildings. They’re moving toward net-zero construction–homes and commercial buildings that offer the ultimate sustainable solution.

Net-zero energy homes are designed to use no energy at all. This has several benefits and important implications for the future of green construction. It is estimated that nearly half of the US’s total energy needs are consumed by homes and commercial buildings. If we could make the net-zero home a viable option for people everywhere, our emissions and environmental impact would plummet to all-time lows. People could be living in ultra-efficient homes powered by their own sustainable solar energy systems. Homes that are built according to net-zero principles could be the most significant green development in recent history.

The average home owner also benefits greatly from this arrangement. The cost of powering a single home today is more expensive than ever before, and that cost can be expected to rise. The only things offsetting the cost of energy in our homes are the energy efficient appliances that have grown in popularity recently. Imagine, however, a home that has little to no energy cost. Homes like this will save the average consumer thousands upon thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime. When homes are no longer dependent on outside energy sources, there is no need to pay an electric bill.

Net-zero homes are also very strong and durable–perhaps even more durable than traditional construction methods. One of the primary materials used in net-zero home construction is known as the SIPS, or structurally insulated panel system. These panels are made from a polystyrene core sandwiched between layers of other construction material, usually oriented strand board or something similar. Not only do these panels offer unmatched insulation and efficient construction, but they are also said to be stronger than homes built on traditional wood frames. SIPS constructed homes can withstand 200 mile per hour winds, according to their main proponents.

Finally, net-zero homes will offer indoor air quality better than any present home in America. Indoor air pollution is a serious health concern, and green construction is tackling this problem along with dozens of others. Net-zero homes are practically air-tight and outfitted with state of the art ventilation and air filtration systems. The quality of air will be much improved, which is beneficial to all. This kind of green construction could prove to be the biggest green energy revolution sinceĀ hydro engineering or recycling. Net-zero homes are already gaining support, and it won’t be long before this kind of construction hits every city in America.

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