Energy payback: An attributional and environmentally focused approach to energy balance in net zero energy buildings
Authors: Publication Year: 2013

Net zero energy buildings (nZEBs) are understood as grid-connected buildings which do not require net inputs of non-renewable energy over a defined period of their life cycle. Energy requirements of nZEBs have until now been assessed based on the impact buildings have on the existing energy system. This paper introduces a new approach to nZEB energy balance that takes into account the actual amount of energy nZEBs require.

Energy balance methods previously proposed for nZEBs are illustrated in a new way and expressed in a series of equations based on a common terminology. Taking a different standpoint on the very logic that lies behind energy calculations; this article presents a new approach to energy balance in nZEBs. The paper highlights the important difference between preventing an increase in the demand for grid energy and ensuring that a building requires no net non-renewable energy. The authors argue that an energy payback approach constitute a more adequate way to tackle the environmental challenges nZEBs are meant to help solving, and to abide to a definition which stipulates that nZEBs should require no net non-renewable energy

Additional Info

  • WP: Climate-adapted low-energy envelope technologies
  • Publication Year: 2013
  • Journal: Energy and Buildings
  • Volume: 65
  • Number: October 2013
  • Pages: 84-95

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