Zero Energy new construction and redevelopment projects are coming to your community!
Science fiction authors have never failed to imagine and articulate a world where technology has solved man’s greatest challenges. Among other glimpses of the “future”, can you envision an endless supply of clean energy?
Every great accomplishment begins with a goal. So, while the introduction of solar collection panels has helped reduce electricity bills for millions of consumers, the question remains whether or not is feasible to push even further.
Is it possible to produce enough energy to satisfy all your energy demands over the course of a year? The concept of Net Zero or Zero Energy refers to just that concept.
Over the last few years, many notable zero energy projects have garnered attention in various building trade publications. Various techniques have been embraced by developers. Some feature experimental, highly-efficient building components. Some utilize a greater than expected amount of insulation. Some are trying to minimize heat absorption with highly reflective external surfaces.
It seems that all of these notable projects have at least one thing in common: an abundance of highly efficient solar electric collection panels and a southern exposure.
The largest planned zero energy community is the recently completed University of California at Davis West Village expansion. Spread over 205 acres, the development includes residential housing for 3000 students, 475 faculty and staff, 45,000 square feet of retail and office space, 60,000 square feet for the Los Rios Community College District and nearly 22 acres of recreational green space.
The multifamily housing units at West Village features a four megawatt roof-mounted solar collection system. Residents acquire electricity through a power purchase agreement (PPA) and the local utility.
Even the covered parking space, visible in the upper right of the photo at right, is entirely covered with solar collection panels!