"Net Zero" can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. From the RFP stage, Quinsigamond Community College and DCAM defined a central goal of the project to be "net zero energy". Recently, through the efforts of Perry Dean, Atelier Ten, and BVH Integrated Services, we have tightened up this definition for the purposes of the new Science and Technology Building project on the QCC campus.
Net Zero Definition:
Net Zero Carbon Emissions, which measures the impact of energy use on global climate change. Carbon emissions are measured at the local utility (like source energy), so transmission losses, fuel type and peak vs. off peak fuel mix are accounted for. Renewable energy has no carbon content, so renewables are used to meet the building's demand on an annual basis. A grid connection is used when renewables cannot meet the building's needs.
Net Zero Energy Building Classification:
Net Zero Energy Building D, which allows on-site renewables at the project site and on campus as well as purchased certified off-site renewable sources.
We believe that these definitions will effectively shape our overall sustainable design strategy.