Zero energy buildings - a good idea or over the cliff?

This discussion webinar takes place on Friday, March 21th, from 14h30 to 15h30.


The UK is taking the lead in sustainable building. In 2007, new housing regulations were agreed upon and go into full force in stages over the upcoming years. The regulations stipulate that from 2016 on, all new homes in the UK will have to be zero-emission for heating, hot water, cooling, ventilation, and lighting. Also ECEEE has issued a statement for new buildings to be net zero energy consumers from 2015.

However, the concept of 'zero-energy' is loosely defined, and zero-energy buildings may be well beyond the cost-benefit balancing point. What about the embodied energy of materials used to reduce the last kWh's of energy consumption? Isn't the answer to these questions dependant on climate conditions? At what stage do other options for fighting climate change become more cost-effective than buildings?

Possible discussion points:

  • The optimum building in various climate conditions
  • What is a zero energy home?
  • Zero energy, energy-positive or off-grid buildings?
  • Embodied energy in buildings
  • Buildings and other options to combat climate change

These topics are aimed for open discussion. We welcome participants who wish to raise their own questions and concerns in the debate.

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