Net Zero Energy
To meet the net zero energy goal, a building/installation must produce as much energy as it consumes. This approach involves overall reduction in consumption coupled with an increased percentage of use supplied by alternative energy sources such as solar, photovoltaic, geothermal, wind, and biomass. To achieve this goal, installations must first implement aggressive conservation and efficiency efforts while benchmarking energy consumption to identify further opportunities.
Net Zero Water
Net-zero goals for water require the reduction of water demand. Demand for freshwater can be accomplished through such steps as treatment of used water and repurposing it for such uses as irrigation. A net-zero water installation limits the consumption of freshwater resources and returns water back to the same watershed so not to deplete the groundwater and surface water resources of that region in quantity and quality. Strategies such as harvesting rain water and recycling discharge water for reuse can reduce levels of municipal water use and export of sewage. Water is re-purposed by utilizing greywater generated from sources such as showers, sinks, and laundries and by capturing precipitation and storm water runoff for on-site use. Wastewater can be treated and reclaimed for other uses or recharged into groundwater aquifers.
Net Zero Waste
A net-zero waste installation is an installation that reduces, reuses, and recovers waste streams, converting them to resource values with zero landfill over the course of a year. This is done by producing zero waste, by reducing waste production and by reusing any waste by repurposing materials, by recycling and by composting. The components of net-zero solid waste start with reducing the amount of waste generated, re-purposing waste, maximizing recycling of the waste stream to reclaim recyclable and compostable materials, and recovery to generate energy as a by-product of waste reduction, with disposal being non-existent. A net zero-waste strategy eliminates the need for landfills, protects human health, optimizes use of limited resources, and keeps the environment clean.