A Net Zero Future: Market Trends and Building Science

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A Net Zero Future: Market Trends and Building Science

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Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 9:00am

I recently attended the ‘Race to Zero’ student design competition hosted by the Department of Energy (DOE) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

The competition challenged student groups from universities across the US and Canada to design zero energy homes. Awards were offered for sustainable design, effective technical integration, and cost effectiveness. As is usually the case with such competitions, the students displayed impressive imagination, contagious curiosity, and encouraging enthusiasm.

During the program, Sam Rashkin, DOE’s Chief Architect of the Building Technologies Office, offered the students some pearls of wisdom, encouraging them to shape their careers based on a firm understanding of market drivers. “If you can recognize the hard trends that define the marketplace,” Rashkin said, “you can predict the future.”

Rashkin asserted that the convergence of rising fossil fuel energy prices, increased demand for energy efficiency, and renewable energy price parity will ensure the proliferation and widespread adoption of net zero energy homes.


Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | Alternative Energy | Climate and the environment | Department of Energy | Energy | National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Race to Zero | Solar Energy