This letter concerning the Net-Zero Energy Building (NZEB) comes to Green Building Elements from Rollin H. White:
The goal of NZEB to generate at least the same amount of energy as buildings consume doesn’t solve the problem of how to construct buildings which are completely self sufficient. A more holistic approach is to reach beyond NZEB to Zero Energy Concept Building (ZECB). ZECB is a leap forward ahead of NZEB because Zero Energy Concept Building includes technology to purify waste water and improve indoor air quality by harnessing the power of Mother Nature to replenish these resources. ZECB addresses poor indoor air quality which has been linked to health problems, while at the same time applying natural processes defined as fixed-film ecology for waste water purification. With fixed-film ecology water is used and reused in diverse ways; continuously cycling through nature’s cleansing process through a series of wetland tanks which do double duty by scrubbing the indoor air through the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a natural charge particle technology that makes pollutants heavy causing them to drop out of the air which is the natural method of cleansing indoor air.
For more about understanding this authors definition for ZECB click on this link.
To develop truly sustainable solutions, we must not only address energy, but water and food. Add these items, as well: waste management and sustainable materials.
Thank you for your contribution, Rollin.
Graphic credit: Engineering for Change