In the United States, direct energy use in buildings accounts for 39% of carbon dioxide emissions per year—more than any other sector. Buildings contribute to a changing climate and warming of the earth in ways that will significantly affect future generations. Zero net energy (ZNE) buildings are a practical and cost-effective way to reduce our energy needs, employ clean solar and wind technologies, protect the environment, and improve our lives. Interest in ZNE buildings, which produce as much energy as they use over the course of a year, has been growing rapidly.
In the Design Professional’s Guide to Zero Net Energy Buildings, Charles Eley draws from over 40 years of his own experience, and interviews with other industry experts, to lay out the principles for achieving ZNE buildings and the issues surrounding their development. Eley emphasizes the importance of building energy use in achieving a sustainable future; describes how building energy use can be minimized through smart design and energy efficiency technologies; and presents practical information on how to incorporate renewable energy technologies to meet the lowered energy needs. The book identifies the building types and climates where meeting the goal will be a challenge and offers solutions for these special cases. It shows the reader, through examples and explanations, that these solutions are viable and cost-effective.
ZNE buildings are practical and cost-effective ways to address climate change without compromising our quality of life. ZNE buildings are an energizing concept and one that is broadly accepted yet, there is little information on what is required to actually meet these goals. This book shows that the goal is feasible and can be practically achieved in most buildings, that our construction industry is up to the challenge, and that we already have the necessary technologies and knowledge.
About the Author
Charles Eley is an architect and mechanical engineer experienced in energy-efficient and sustainable design. He has advised in the design of many pioneering energy efficient buildings and has made significant contributions to the California energy standards, ASHRAE Standard 90.1, and other international standards and programs. Charles currently serves on non-profit boards, provides specialized consulting, and teaches classes on building energy efficiency and green technologies.
"An excellent resource for any design professional who wants to move toward net zero energy or just become familiar with its principles and possibilities."
— Civil Engineering
"The book is targeted at architects, engineers, energy consultants and green building advisors but written with 'minimal technical jargon.' That said, there is enough depth on best practices, strategies and even solutions for challenging climate zones...With this book in hand there is no excuse for not creating ZNE buildings immediately."
— BetterBricks blog
"Charles Eley offers an engaging summary of everything you need to know about Zero-Net-Energy buildings: the principles, technologies, guidelines, and policy recommendations to encourage ZNE for all our buildings. This is a must read for design professionals, policymakers, and anyone interested in improving our future."
— Bob Berkebile, Principal Emeritus, BNIM
"How we design buildings today will determine if the effects of climate change are manageable or catastrophic. Charles Eley delivers a comprehensive and detailed blueprint for designing Zero-Net-Energy buildings today that will efectively shape tomorrow's built environment. It belongs in every conscientious designer's library."
— Edward Mazria, Founder of Architecture 2030
"In personalized and clear prose, richly illustrated with cutting-edge buildings, Charles Eley provides critical depth on Zero-Net-Energy buildings. This is the perfect introduction to ZNE for the entire community of design decision makers."
— Vivian Loftness, Paul Mellon Chair and University Professor of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University
"The distinguished architect and engineer Charles Eley has distilled his decades of experience into this masterfully clear, graceful, modern, and practical guide to designing buildings that produce at least as much renewable energy as they use. As markets and rules increasingly demand 'Zero Net Energy' performance, the design professionals, developers, financiers, and policymakers seeking to deliver it will welcome this lucid and inspiring roadmap."
— Amory B. Lovins, Cofounder and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute