Builders Tackle Efficiency Challenges With Net Zero Energy

By Kaitlin Ugolik (January 21, 2014, 7:14 PM EST) -- At the urging of the federal and some state governments, developers' focus for new buildings has begun to shift to creating energy instead of just conserving it. But experts say many scientific and economic hurdles remain before net zero energy can become the new LEED.

The idea of lowering energy costs and increasing efficiencies, particularly at new commercial properties, is not new, but improvements in technology and new incentives are allowing developers and their counterparts in the renewable energy industry to push the envelope further, creating buildings that use no more energy than they can create on-site.

With a few impressive exceptions,...

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