February 13, 2023

A Guide to Zero Net Carbon Home Design

Residential and commercial properties account for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Most greenhouse gas emissions produced by the building industry result from burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. Unfortunately, the abundance of greenhouse gases in the environment contributes to climate change and global warming.

Constructing a house with renewable energy systems and cabinetry, windows, and doors that are energy efficient will help you rely less on fossil fuels and lean on more renewable energy sources. These constructions are called net-zero carbon homes, and they help reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption. Our guide below explains more about zero-carbon homes and why they benefit homeowners and the environment.

What Is a Net-Zero House? Reduced Carbon Emissions, Renewable Energy, Solar Panels, and More

A net-zero home is constructed to sustain long-term renewable energy production to offset the property's energy use. The goal of these houses is to produce as much energy as it consumes through renewable electricity to eventually reduce their carbon footprint to zero. However, these buildings can have ties to the local electrical grid and resemble a typical, stylish residence.

The main goal of a zero-carbon building is to create a passive residence. Passive homes are almost airtight due to the superiority of building materials, the construction of windows and doors, and the quality of insulation.

Zero-carbon houses also lack natural gas lines and rely solely on electricity and, preferably, solar panels. A built environment that uses natural gas increases its carbon footprint by burning fossil fuel. The gas's emissions include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides, which are all unhealthy for people and the environment.

Details About Net-Zero Home Designs

Zero-carbon properties officially became a federal government focus in 2008 with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home program. The program lays a foundation for new constructions to eventually have zero carbon emissions and get all their energy needs through renewable sources.

Contributing factors of a well-planned residence design include:

The DOE provides clear guidance for builders and architects to construct zero-carbon properties on large and small scales. Unfortunately, outdated information about the cost of making these homes is to blame for their small percentage of the housing market.

Net-Zero-Ready Properties vs. Net-Zero-Energy Buildings

A net-zero-ready building has the infrastructure of a zero-carbon dwelling without being zero-carbon. For instance, if a builder constructs a house to accommodate solar panels to generate enough electricity to power the property and charge electric vehicles, they are building a net-zero-ready residence with future renewable energy abilities.

However, solar panels alone aren't enough. According to the DOE, residential properties can only obtain Zero Energy Ready certification if their construction follows the federal government's intense regulations and guidelines. For a house to achieve the net-zero status, it must:

Benefits of Having a Net-Zero-Energy House

On the commercial design build construction aspect of building zero-carbon homes, it makes sense to embrace net-zero-ready construction. Because property owners are becoming more environmentally conscious, building properties according to net-zero-ready construction standards puts construction companies and architects at the forefront of climate change mitigation efforts.

Residential builders can appeal to buyers who want to invest in their future with an eco-friendly home. Though it generally costs more to build a zero-carbon home than a typical new construction, the homeowners will be happy to save money on their monthly electric bill, thanks to the property's renewable energy systems.

Builders and homebuyers can be confident that the design and construction of the houses will be more durable and resilient than others on the market. They can also rest assured that the reduced energy consumption will result in noticeable savings on energy bills.

What To Consider Before Building a Zero-Carbon Home

Architects and builders will build properties that suit the local climate and location. What works for one residence might not be suitable for another. For instance, a building's location will affect the location of its windows and doors to maximize efficiency.

Construction also relies on meeting the program's requirements regarding energy and water efficiency, conservation, and management.

Embrace the Idea of a Net-Zero Home with TBS Design Gallery

Whether you're building a new zero-carbon home or improving your current house's energy efficiency, consider working with TBS Design Gallery. As a leading home improvement company in Santa Clara, CA, we specialize in designing and installing windows, doors, hardwood flooring, outdoor living spaces, and appliances.

We proudly partner with over 60 major brands to deliver custom home improvement solutions. Our designers and installers only work with the highest-quality building materials and will keep your home's energy use in mind. For energy-efficient windows and doors by TBS Design Gallery, contact us at (650) 416-8888.

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