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Green building initiatives havent always been viewed favourably, especially as some consider them to be extra investments with little benefit. However, sustainable technologies continue to gain mainstream appeal, leading to increased demand from clients who desire to enjoy the benefits of lower building and maintenance costs. Additionally, some authorities are implementing standards that require new constructions to implement green solutions, while offering incentives to builders who use sustainable initiatives to reduce emissions 

While green initiatives would have a greater uptake with more robust policy, the ability to attain net-zero homes lies in designers, architects, and property developers’ hands. From a construction perspective, these groups are better able to design projects that can make net-zero a reality. Michael Akkawi, an experienced property developer, knows that to deliver net-zero homes effectively, every player in the industry needs to understand the net-zero home design process.  

The Advantage of an Educated Client 

Many clients are not familiar with the term ‘net-zero, so a design team has to jumpstart the conversation by helping the client understand what it means and how it can be implemented. It also helps to talk about costs upfront, as some of the systems and material that go into a net-zero home can be expensive. While presenting to a client, the aim should be to show them how the energy savings offset the initial costs. Also, let the client know if there are any tax incentives to taking the renewable energy route.  

Analyse the Environment 

While energy-efficient appliances and systems get a lot of the attention in the net-zero discussion, equipment alone wont get it done. Analysing the local environment, from wind and rain patterns to temperature ranges and sunlight angles, will help to determine the most suitable design that achieves net-zero. This analysis is helpful for the design and will ensure any renewable equipment can work successfully once installed. 

Have A Skilled Team 

Designing a net-zero home is a complicated task, so it is essential to have a skilled team to assist. Many teams tend to have an energy consultant included, while a mechanical engineer can help map an efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The projects complexity will also determine whether other experts are required. 

The team must understand the goal from the start, something that a formal brainstorming session can help accomplish. This session is vital in establishing the objectives and outlining the path towards accomplishing them.