Energy efficient building success abroad highlights potential for U.S.

September 20, 2012

The growing number of success stories – in terms of carbon emission reductions and operating cost savings for buildings – around the world have highlighted the immense potential for the U.S. to become a leader in the energy efficient building sector.

The recent push by the U.S. government to create a true net-zero house, or rather one that actually generates energy instead of consuming it, was mirrored by a group of English scientists.

According to This is Kent, a group of researchers came together to create a structure that would
be the "first carbon negative and energy positive" building in Europe.

The property will produce more energy than it consumes, not only saving the organization that owns the structure money, but ensuring that as little environmental damage as possible is inflicted by the building.

According to the news outlet, the way that the building was constructed was also done with an eye to sustainability, as guidelines regarding the materials and methods used were adhered to throughout the process.

"From the beginning we have sought to apply every low impact approach to both the construction and use of the building," said Alistair Gould, the chairman of The Bay Trust, the owners of the building. "We're delighted that this imaginative and economic addition to the building means we have attained the rigorous target we set ourselves when we commenced this project 10 years ago.

The building is located in a fitting area of the country, as the Pines Calyx structure is positioned right in the middle of The Bay Trust's effort to create a site for sustainability education and healthy living, according to This is Kent.

The building features the latest available technology in the industry, including rammed-chalk walls, a living roof and other energy efficient products.

The U.S. can follow the example set by other nations, especially because of efforts like the Department of Energy-sponsored Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub).

The EEB Hub comprises a number of institutions from the private sector, academia, energy development industry and the government. Its members are looking to transform the commercial real estate market in Philadelphia by making the stock more efficient, which will act as a national model for the potential for energy efficient retrofits and construction projects.