Every day, there is a new headline discussing climate change or the current energy crisis. Many people who are highly dependent on outside energy sources are worried about supply issues and the increasing costs of electricity and gas. In contrast, families living in zero net-energy homes don’t have to worry about rising prices because they use very little energy, and their property is powered by onsite sources such as solar or wind power.
But net-zero properties aren’t just cheaper to run and more reliable than other homes. They are also more environmentally friendly, more comfortable, and more valuable. You can build your own net-zero home or convert your current residence by speaking to professional architects. They will help you insulate the property and make use of the natural resources present on your land.
What Are the Benefits of Zero Net-Energy Homes?
Many people dream of having a home that doesn’t use up any outside energy. With careful planning and execution, this is possible in most areas of the country.
Once you’ve built your property, you’ll no longer have to worry about paying for energy bills, you won’t suffer from power outages, and your property won’t contribute to climate change. Net-zero energy living is a growing trend, and your home is likely to increase in value as more people understand the benefits.
You Don’t Have to Worry about Energy Bills
One of the key benefits of living in a net-zero home is that you’ll no longer have to worry about paying for the energy you consume. Because everything is produced on your property, you won’t use up external resources that cost money. In some cases or at certain times of the year, you might even have surplus energy, which you can sell to other households or businesses.
This factor is especially important nowadays when energy prices are highly unpredictable. Households that live in a net-zero energy building can budget much more easily because they don’t have to take into consideration the fluctuating prices of electricity and gas. In the future, it’s likely that energy prices will increase further due to the climate crisis and supply issues, so this factor is likely to remain relevant for several decades.
Your Building Will Be More Reliable
In many places around the world, energy shortages are predicted for this winter. This might mean that the electricity supply will be cut off for several hours a day or that certain businesses that use a lot of energy will need to be shut down temporarily. Even if this isn’t a concern in your area at the moment, there is a high chance that energy won’t always be as readily available as it has been in the past.
People living in net-zero homes won’t have to worry about these shortages because they already produce their own energy supply. For this reason, such buildings are more reliable and less dependent on the state of the economy.
You Will No Longer Contribute to Climate Change
Most people are intensely aware of the effects of climate change on our planet, and they are looking to reduce their energy consumption to prevent a disastrous outcome. There are many ways of becoming more environmentally friendly, and a combination of several approaches is usually best. For example, people can reduce their travel, buy local products, and make an effort to produce less waste.
Building and maintaining a home is one of the biggest factors to consider. When you create a net zero home, you can reduce your environmental impact by choosing local and sustainably sourced materials, working with contractors who take the environment into consideration, and insulating your home as much as possible. What’s more, you’ll no longer have to burn fossil fuels to power your home.
Your Property Is Likely to Increase in Value
Many factors determine the price of your home, including its location, size, structure, and accessibility. However, one of the biggest considerations is the quality of the construction. If a house is made out of excellent materials and insulated to reduce energy use and noise, it’s likely that you can get a much higher price for it.
Additionally, net-zero energy houses are becoming more and more popular because an increasing number of people are looking to reduce their dependency on outside energy sources. At the moment, these types of homes might be worth 5-10% more than a comparable home that isn’t net zero. However, it’s likely that the difference in price will increase in the future, as people become aware of the benefits of net-zero housing.
The Building Is More Pleasant to Be In
When you buy or design a new house, one of the most important considerations is how pleasant it will be to live in. You don’t want to move into a beautiful home that is drafty, noisy, and uncomfortable. Zero net-energy homes are generally more pleasant to live in than other homes because they have better insulation. As a result, you won’t suffer from drafts and cold in the winter, and you won’t be too hot in the summer.
Many net zero buildings are sealed from the outside world, and they often feature triple glazing, so they are much quieter than other homes. Even if someone is making noise in your neighborhood, you’re unlikely to hear it when your doors and windows are shut. This is especially helpful for people who spend a lot of time at home, for example, those who are working from home or raising a family.
What About Net-Zero Businesses?
So far, we’ve concentrated on private residences. But should businesses also consider building net zero offices, shops, and workspaces? The answer is often “yes”. For companies, net-zero properties have distinct advantages. Firstly, they can reduce your operating expenses, especially if your business requires the use of a lot of energy.
Secondly, you will benefit from the consistency that your own energy sources bring. Even if other businesses are affected by power outages, you’ll still be able to keep operating. Finally, you can promote yourself as a net-zero business, which will improve your reputation in the community and demonstrate that you are doing all you can to fight climate change. Some people might be more likely to work with you as a result.
How Can You Construct a Net-Zero Home?
Building a net-zero property is more challenging and more expensive than constructing a normal house. You’ll need to think about sourcing sustainable materials, insulating the property to reduce energy consumption, and producing renewable energy.
Homeowners might pay up to 8% more to construct this kind of house, but in some instances, the excess cost can be as little as 5%. If your home costs $500,000 to build, this means that you will pay as little as $25,000 more. This extra expense will soon be worth it because your home will be more valuable, and you can save around $2,000 per year on energy costs.
Thinking About the Construction Materials and Processes
When thinking about net-zero homes, most people imagine a house or apartment that produces as much energy as it consumes. While this is a key element, it isn’t the only thing that counts. At Hutter Architects, we start thinking about the home’s environmental impact from the beginning. We choose the most sustainable building materials and try to structure our processes in a way that minimizes resource consumption.
Reducing Energy Consumption
Producing enough energy to power an entire home is a challenging endeavour, but the less electricity and gas your property consumes, the easier it is. That’s why most net-zero architects focus on reducing a property’s energy needs first. The most obvious solution is to insulate the building well and use high-quality materials that won’t let the heat or the cold into the home.
Additionally, you can implement smart solutions such as an app on your phone that can regulate your building’s temperature. That way, you can turn the heating off or control your appliances even when you’re not at home.
Increasing Energy Production
Once you’ve estimated how much energy your home will need to run smoothly, you can think about how to create it. The first step is to lay out the home in a way that conserves energy. For example, frequently used rooms can face the south, where they will receive a lot of sunlight and require less heat in the winter.
Most net-zero properties have solar panels, which produce a large part of the electricity. However, this might not be enough, especially in winter. Some architects also incorporate additional solutions, such as wind turbines, which can be installed in the yard or even attached to the building.
Zero net-energy homes come with several distinct advantages. They eliminate the need for outside energy sources, which makes them cheaper to run and more consistent. They are also quieter, more environmentally friendly, and more valuable than other properties. Send us a message at Hutter Architects to find out more about our past net zero designs and to discuss your upcoming project with an expert.