BOULDER, Colo. — On a global scale, commercial and residential buildings account for 35 percent to 40 percent of total energy consumption, notes Navigant Research. While advances in energy efficient buildings are reducing the energy consumption of many new and existing structures, the spread of zero energy buildings (ZEBs), which generate as much energy over the course of a year as they use, is a primary indicator of aggressive approaches to mitigating the impacts of climate change in the built environment. According to a report from the research firm, worldwide revenue from ZEBs is expected to total nearly $4.6 trillion from 2014 through 2035.

“Governments, corporations, and home builders are pursuing ZEB solutions in order to reduce energy costs and minimize the carbon footprint of their buildings,” said Noah Goldstein, research director with Navigant Research. “A number of large-scale and interesting showcase developments are paving the way for the widespread adoption of ZEBs in a few innovative regions around the world.”

The strongest driver for this market is regulation, according to the report. Policies like the European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and California’s evolving Title 24 building code have been introduced in many countries to create an emerging market that integrates highly energy efficient building technologies with renewable power. In some markets — particularly residential buildings in the European Union — ZEBs are expected to be developed by current green building and conventional builders and suppliers as they shift their offerings to conform to the new code requirements.

The report, “Zero Energy Buildings,” defines and analyzes the global market for ZEBs with a focus on six product and service categories: HVAC systems, lighting, walls and roof, glazing, renewable energy, and soft costs.

An executive summary of the report is available here.

Publication date: 1/5/2015

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