Net-zero carbon producing buildings have become substantially more commonplace in the global green building sector, heralding in a new stage of the green building evolution.
Driven by economic and environmental factors, both the UK and the US have strongly upped their involvement with developing buildings of this nature. Now it appears the Australian green building sector has fully come on board with the net-carbon zero model, with the Housing Industry Association awarding the 2012 GreenSmart Home of the Year to Clarendon Homes NSW and Landcom’s Net Zero Emissions Home.
According to the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, a building that is given net-zero carbon status when it is “capable of producing, at minimum, an annual output of renewable energy that is equal to the total amount of its annual consumed/purchased energy from energy utilities.”
The GreenSmart Awards top winner meets this criterion, as it leaves no carbon footprint.
“The Net Zero Emissions Home embodies GreenSmart principles and is a true example of a sustainable dwelling,” says the award jury. “The home generates zero emissions, leaving no impact in the environment.”
This has been achieved through the incorporation of strategic and considered sustainable design, geothermal design practices and strategic low-energy technology.
A photovoltaic system generates solar energy and the site also includes an onsite grey water recycling system for water conservation and what the developers have described as a ‘productive’ garden.
Adaptation also plays a key role in the flexible design of the home; it was designed to be able to respond, react and mold itself to the varying lifestyles of inhabitants.
“Thorough research and implementation of water and energy saving options has produced a home that exceeds expectations in comfort and efficiency,” the jury says.
The win an exciting new development for both the developers and for the entire green building sector. New standards have been set in the realm of green design and delivery, both setting a challenge for industry members and heralding in the next step for the green design model in this country.