When Will Net-Zero Buildings Be The Design Standard?

 

Sustainability was among the major themes at this year’s Chicago Build Expo. More and more architects and builders have been striving to create more eco-friendly projects but questions and challenges still remain.

“I think one of the main obstacles right now is knowledge. Making sure people [are] aware of the benefits of achieving a net-zero efficiency and also making sure people understand ‘what are the ways one can reach net-zero?’,” María Laguarda-Mallo, a project manager at VIATchnik, LLC said.

There is also a question as to whether creating net-zero buildings is economically feasible for certain areas in the United States, but according to Nathan Kipnis, Founder and Principal of Kipnis Architecture+Planning there are plenty of affordable options for residential and commercial builders today.

“After all the incentives, it might be, for a large home, it might be $15,000. That is comparable to maybe the cabinet upgrade in the kitchen. It’s like nothing. It’s crazy not to do it,” Kipnis said.

However, Kipnis admits that there is still a significant amount of work to be done to make green buildings more popular.

“I think that’s the real challenge now, is to get these materials that are lower-carbon to produce and have long life and are still great materials,” Kipnis said.

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