Zero Energy Lab

Zero energy buildings are proliferating! The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently opened its 220,000 square foot facility in Colorado, demonstrating how easily a net zero energy building can materialize with forethought and planning.

The NREL building embraces simple strategies: laptops instead of desk computers, 6-watt desk lamps, 2-watt telephones, and installing single combination copy, fax, scan and print machines in each wing of the building to service each area. The design of the building itself allows for extensive natural light, negating the need for electric lighting between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. In the context of these simple steps, PV arrays on the parking garage and rooftop provide enough energy to make the building net zero. For a great overview on the NREL building, as well as the net zero Lewis Center at Oberlin College in Ohio, go here.