Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings are certainly a part of India’s future realty market.
Governments, property dealers and realtors are embracing sustainable techniques at a fast pace during property construction.
Today, homeowners are enthusiastic about living in eco-friendly homes as it not only saves costs but also inspire a better way of life.
A combination of an advanced building system and futuristic design make net-zero homes more energy competent and carbon-neutral.
No doubt, Zero Net Energy buildings offer huge potential for saving energy! Before we proceed, let us first clear our basics about ZNE Buildings.
Basics of Zero Net-Energy Building
Zero Net Energy Buildings are a structure with no net energy utilization. This implies that the total energy consumed by the building on a yearly basis is nearly equal to the total renewable energy produced on-site or elsewhere by renewable energy sources.
The ZNE buildings add less greenhouse gas to the environment as compared to a similar non-ZNE building. These buildings can produce the same amount of energy it is using without compromising the daily life of the residents living in it.
Technical Understanding of Zero Energy Buildings
Net-zero energy homes are built with energy-conscious designs and include elements that can run without fossil energy sources.
- These homes are furnished with eco-friendly elements such as rooftop rainwater harvesting system that decreases the dependence on treated water.
- Solar panels, geothermal heating, wind turbines, and heat recovery ventilation systems are some of the techniques that are employed to achieve a zero-net-energy status.
In current times, while land constraints are pushing the trend of high rises and compact living, they are also exhausting a major portion of the total energy produced. Globally, buildings account for nearly 30% of the total energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.
Seeing that the global climate change is a burning topic at present, immediate action must be taken towards a reduced carbon future, making net-zero energy properties the cornerstones of the housing revolution.
How Zero Net Energy Buildings Benefit End Users?
Do You Know? According to the latest annual energy figures published by the Ministry of Statistics, Planning, and Implementation, the building sector consumes nearly 40% of the total energy produced in India.
The energy consumption can be decreased by incorporating energy-efficient designs during the construction and operation of these units. ZNE buildings are paving the way for a cleaner and greener future.
Unlike traditional construction, new-age green buildings offer several benefits to the residents in the long run:
Benefit 1: Energy Efficient Homes
- It reduces the reliance on the public power grid as solar panels can generate enough power.
- Save electricity bills by making maximum use of natural light and energy-efficient roofs.
- Moreover, the dependence on non-renewable energy sources also reduces, thus lowering the level of contaminants in the atmosphere.
- The air flow in ZNE buildings is a lot healthier, purer, fresher, and cleaner as it is completely devoid of poisonous substances used at the time of construction.
- The research conducted by the Indian Green Building Council has proven that green buildings save up to 50% of energy costs and up to 30% of water costs when compared with old-style buildings.
- Low-flow water fittings and water from Sewage Treatment Plant can cut water bills by 10-20%.
Benefit 2: Reduced Maintenance Costs
- Nearly 10% reduction in maintenance costs through the use of compost for landscaping and using recycled water for flushing.
- Reduction in electricity bills up to 70% due to the use of solar power and LED’s. Depending on the rooftop availability, solar panels can result in 100% energy savings within a period of 3-4 years.
- Replenish groundwater table through rainwater harvesting.
- Reduced dependency on water tankers as green homes can support their water requirements.
- 100% of waste management can generate annual revenues from selling excess compost and high-value recyclables.
Benefit 3: Wholesome Indoors
- Use of low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) paints that decrease toxicity and make indoors healthy.
- Naturally, ventilation and well-illuminated spaces offer a healthier environment inside the home.
- In addition to saving power bills, ZNE buildings deliver superior indoor air quality through Heat Recovery Ventilation system that purifies the air.
Benefit 4: Encourage Carbon-Neutrality
- Carbon-neutrality will allow residents to avoid the dangerous impacts of climate change that come in the form of frequent and brutal storms, floods, droughts, and heat waves.
- The green homes emit significantly lesser amount of carbon into the atmosphere as they use passive heating and cooling systems while still offering a modern lifestyle.
Benefit 5: High Resale Value
- Despite higher initial costs required to comprehend, implement, and sustain zero energy homes, many people are looking forward to buying ZNE buildings.
- With the increasing popularity of these types of homes in the market, their resale value is also gaining worth. People know that they will be able to continuously save on energy costs and so are keen on investing in a net zero energy home.
Real Estate Companies & Zero Energy Homes
With regards to the real estate companies, sustainability goes beyond energy conservation and takes into consideration the optimum utilization of resources, impact on the surrounding environment and the living conditions for inhabitants.
Green properties incorporate practical ecological elements like:
1: Effective use of water and energy.
2: Efficient use of accessible renewable energy, recyclable and restored resources.
3: Optimum use of available land.
4: Creating efficient management structures.
The chief advantage of eco-friendly buildings is that they produce less waste and therefore, help create a healthier living environment.
The overall profit of green building manufacturers depends entirely on the scale at which pollution-free elements are talked about in the early design and development phase. A green construction project is most likely to achieve its goal of conservation elements are planned and incorporated right from the beginning.
A green homeowner can save up-to Rs 25,000-100,000 annually on the expenditure incurred on water, electricity and society maintenance. This amounts to considerable savings at virtually no additional cost!
With the decrease in the incremental costs of constructing green homes and the residents becoming increasingly energy-conscious, green homes will soon be available at very similar prices as a regular house.
Not just individuals, real estate agents are also today more environmentally and socially aware. They seek new opportunities and choices that will benefit the planet, as well as, the buyers.
As more than two-thirds of urban construction segment in India is yet to develop, ZNE homes seem a valuable opportunity to influence a paradigm shift in the direction of sustainable housing development while also allowing financial foresight and an enhanced sense of wellness on the whole. Indeed a win-win situation!