Net Zero Energy, buildings that produce all the energy they consume

The search for sustainability in human activity cannot ignore construction. After all, buildings already consume 40% of the total energy consumed in Europe. Aware of this, the expert panel of the Green Building Council Spain, backed by the UN Global Compact on sustainability, has been promoting the concept of Net Zero Energy for some time: the construction of buildings with green energy self-production solutions that do not require energy from any other source for their operation. In other words, buildings that produce on-site all the energy they consume to achieve a coveted zero-emission balance.


Strategies to achieve Net Zero Energy


One of the indispensable steps to achieve Net Zero Energy, important for both the environment and companies for brand image reasons, is the installation of renewable energy production systems. Among them, the most common are photovoltaic solar panels, wind turbines of various sizes, and geothermal energy systems. Once again, as we often repeat in many of our blog articles, the choice of one of these solutions requires a deep analysis of the environment in which the office building is located, as well as its energy and other needs.

However, it is not only about green energy self-sufficiency; also, economizing on energy consumption matters. This is where other Net Zero Energy strategies come into play, such as the implementation of insulation mechanisms through design. The goal is clear: to minimize energy losses. Intelligent energy efficiency technologies, such as advanced aerothermal systems, automated lighting systems, or highly efficient appliances, are also important. Above all, it is essential that these technologies enable real-time monitoring of energy consumption.


Net Zero Energy Buildings Worldwide


Currently, due to the advancement of sustainable awareness in society in general and in real estate and architectural studios in particular, there are already many Net Zero Energy buildings scattered around the world. One of them is Unisphere, located in the US city of Silver Spring, which features varied solutions such as smart climate control, windows that automatically darken when the temperature rises, or controlled cooling. And all this with an aesthetic design that blends wonderfully with its surroundings. A true inspiration for many other industry players.

But it's not the only one. The Dos Patios Building, located in Mexico City, achieves Net Zero Energy status thanks to mechanisms such as the installation of 105,000 LED lights. The Glumac office building in Shanghai also achieves this with its five area purification systems and its green wall designed to reduce environmental pollution. And the DPR Construction building in San Francisco, whose managers have already publicly stated their intention to go beyond zero balance and achieve a positive net energy production. Finally, on a global level, we can highlight The Edge in Amsterdam, whose energy consumption can be regulated with a simple mobile app.

Of course, at Colonial, we are also moving in that direction and already have some of Spain's Net Zero buildings among our assets. Like Miguel Ángel 23, located in Madrid, with a completely neutral carbon emission to the atmosphere. An office building for brands that truly embrace sustainability. Or like Madnum, also located in the Spanish capital, which stands out for its almost zero energy consumption, largely due to the intelligent exploitation of renewable energy sources. Work and effort will continue to progressively increase the 100% Net Zero Energy office buildings in our catalog.


The Future of the Net Zero Energy Campaign


The campaign promoted by the Green Building Council Spain in our country is causing changes in many industry players, and it seems evident that the future of building construction, especially office buildings, lies in the pursuit of Net Zero Energy. At Colonial, for example, we have been pursuing maximum sustainability in our buildings for many years and obtaining the highest energy certifications. Not only for the ecological nature of their operation but also for the ecological nature of their creation, rehabilitation, and maintenance. We understand that Net Zero Energy should affect all phases of the building's life.

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