Towards zero energy development

The built environment contributes almost 50% of global carbon emissions - one of the primary causes of climate change. Steps to curb climate change have resulted in global protocols to reduce green house gas emissions through legislation, and an increasing advocacy for green design practices to create more sustainable developments. Zero energy development has become increasingly popular in Europe and the US, given the escalating costs of traditional fossil fuels and their negative impact on the planet's climate and ecological balance.

Zero energy developments have zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. This can be achieved by ensuring the energy consumed on site is replenished using renewable energy sources (such as wind or solar), while reducing the overall energy consumption by a highly efficient design that is environmentally responsive. Our knowledge of passive environmental design principles balances lessons learned from past cultural and architectural practices with new technologies and techniques to create innovative developments that move towards zero energy.