ZENERGY HOUSE - A Near-Zero Energy Green Healthy Home 

Zero-energy green homes are healthier, more durable, and absolutely essential for saving large amounts of energy and effectively curbing climate change

What is a “Green” house?

A home can either be constructed green, or an existing home can be reconstructed green.  Either way, a holistic approach to energy and environmental design is required when considering any green project.  Using less energy, water, and materials while reducing the home's impact on human health and the environment is what defines a green home. 

Energy efficiency is the most quantifiable aspect of green homes.  By creating a tight, well insulated building envelope and incorporating highly efficient mechanical systems, lighting and appliances the homeowner/builder has reduced energy use through efficiency.  This method is used first because those savings are the most significant.  This provides the opportunity to decrease the needed size of solar electric panels which can generate enough electricity to create a zero-energy green house.

Improving water efficiency for both indoor and outdoor use can be achieved though the selection of fixtures, landscaping, irrigation systems, reducing losses and waste of water through design and behavioral change.  Reaching acceptable levels of water use is an important aspect of a green home.

Improving the health of both the occupant and the Earth is crucial to the goal of green homes.  Green homes provide better indoor air quality than standard homes by effectively managing moisture and ventilation while using sustainable, non-toxic products.  Purchasing locally manufactured sustainable products also reduces the impact on the environment, thus curbing global climate change.

What is a Zero-Energy house?

A home approaching zero energy use may be called a near-zero energy building or ultra-low energy house.  One definition of a ZEB (zero-energy building), is a house that generates energy provided by on-site Renewable energy sources that are equal to the amount of energy used by the building.

To achieve minimal energy use, zero energy design departs significantly from conventional construction practices.  The knowledge of zero energy design is less common than the basics of Green building.  Green building certification check lists do not emphasize zeroing the usage of  electricity.  This problem is documented in the energy bills of certified green buildings, which do not claim to be zero energy buildings.  After construction, most ZEBs are  “green,” but very few “green buildings” are off-the-grid, or use zero energy.