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How should I use the Knowledge Centre?

Knowledge Centre is categorized into 5 distinct sub sections, each of which covers a unique set of stratagems needed to make a building NZEB.  It is structured sequentially to follow the tenet of the NZEB concept – first save energy, then balance unavoidable energy use by producing renewable energy.

Since energy efficiency is considered paramount to the principle of a NZEB, the first three sections contain information for incorporating energy efficiency measures in buildings. These are: passive strategies, energy efficient equipment, and efficient appliances. The 4th section has information pertaining to renewable energy technologies. Last section of the knowledge centre contains a database of tools needed to design and execute NZEBs. These tools help evaluate comparative performance of NZEB technologies, best methods of integrating them in buildings and calculate the combined potential of design strategies and appropriate technologies to achieve NZEB goals.

Unless the visitor is an expert in designing and constructing energy efficient buildings or needs a specific piece of information, we suggest browsing sequentially through the sections.

Each of the sub-sections is structured to first introduce the visitor to a conceptual understanding of the strategy, then methods of using it in buildings and proven benefits, and finally leads to other information resources that can be accessed to find more details.

Can I submit a NZEB case study?

Case studies can be submitted by anyone.

Project information should be accurate and contemporary, and cover at least all the NZEB features typically highlighted in other case studies on the portal. Copyright permissions for images and any other information subject to copyright issues must be gained prior to submitting the project for consideration. Proof of copyright permission will be required.

Knowledge portal team will review the project information and decide whether it can be showcased on the portal. The team can ask for additional information relevant to the project before arriving at their decision, while preparing the case study and after it has been put up on the portal.  It can also edit the content to suit the typical display format used for case studies on the knowledge portal.

Can I add events or news to the portal?

Yes, you can submit it to the knowledge portal management team who will post it on the website after confirming the event or news from its original source.

I still have questions. Whom should I contact?

Please see the contact us section.

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Who should join the alliance?

The alliance membership is open to all private and public companies, institutions, associations, and individuals interested in advancing NZEB initiatives, energy efficient technologies, renewable energy technologies, best practices, policies, and programs. Designers, engineers, project management consultants, developers, building owners and managers, contractors, manufacturers, academicians, financiers, policy makers and experts from allied fields are encouraged to join the alliance as individual members also.

The knowledge portal management team will scrutinise and approve the applications for membership. We will be looking for demonstrated commitment to or interest in low energy buildings and renewable technologies applicable in buildings.

Are there any membership fees?

There are no membership fees.

As a member, how can I contribute to the activities of the alliance?

Initially the alliance will concentrate on providing a platform for interaction and knowledge sharing to people enthusiastic about reforming energy and environmental footprint of buildings. The discussion forum and the expert’s column will be two of the primary activities.

As a member you can share:

  • Research and development activities in energy efficient, renewable energy technologies
  • NZEB, energy efficiency, renewable energy policies at city, state or national level
  • Experience in design and construction of energy efficient buildings or zero energy buildings
  • New technologies in the Indian markets that are integral to NZEBs

And lastly, but most importantly, COMMUNICATE your thoughts and keep you ENTHUSIASM about NZEBs alive!

Do I need to join the alliance for interacting with members and experts?

Yes. Visitors to the portal can read the discussion threads and expert’s column but alliance membership is necessary to join the discussions and interact with the experts.

Can I join the expert’s panel?

If you have expertise in building energy efficiency or renewable energy technologies, are not restricted by any contractual or legal obligations to any organization, and would like to share your knowledge by joining the expert’s panel, please contact us.

Experts are expected to share their insights through articles published in the expert’s column. Articles from the experts are expected to both inform portal visitors, and spur an exchange of opinions and ideas. These articles should not infringe on any copyright issues.

You can also recommend experts with extensive domain knowledge on any aspect of NZEBs, energy efficient buildings, renewable energy systems, and related policies to the portal management team.

Any requests for contributing to the expert’s panel should be submitted to the portal team. Invite to join the panel, in either case, is at the discretion of the knowledge portal team.

I still have questions. Whom should I contact?

Please see the contact us section.

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What is a Net Zero Energy Building?

NZEB is a building with very low energy demand and remaining energy needs are supplied by use of renewable energy technologies (on-site or off-site). NZEBs are energy self-sufficient buildings and in many cases may produce excess energy to be supplied to the grid.

How can we achieve NZEB by using design approaches?

a) The most logical approach to reach NZEB goal is to first reduce energy demand of the building by using energy efficiency design measures and technologies (daylighting, insulation, passive solar heating or cooling, high-efficiency HVAC equipment, natural ventilation, evaporative cooling, ground-source heat pumps etc.). The remaining demand can be fulfilled by utilizing appropriate on site or off-site renewable energy technologies.

b) This is achieved through a two-step process that involves employing aggressive energy-efficiency measures that reduce the energy requirements of the building, followed by generation of the residual energy through on-site renewable energy systems. Energy-efficiency measures that are recommended for NZEBs include insulation for the walls and roofs, reflective coating for roofs, efficient fenestration, effective shading, efficient appliances, efficient lighting and daylighting, low-energy thermal conditioning systems, and advanced metering and control systems.

What are the benefits of NZEBs?

NZEBs bring long term benefits economic, environmental and increased health and wellbeing The economic benefits are in the form of drastically reduced the dependence on the energy supply grid to meet the building’s energy needs. Energy can also be provided to the gird at a cost. The other benefits include visual and thermal comfort conditions

How can we define NZEBs?

Torcellini et.al (2006), proposed four different definitions based on various approaches to NZEB: site ZEB, source ZEB, emissions ZEB and cost ZEB.

• Net Zero Site Energy: A site ZEB produces at least as much energy as it uses in a year, when accounted for at the site.

• Net Zero Source Energy: A source ZEB produces at least as much energy as it uses in a year, when accounted for at the source. Source energy refers to the primary energy used to generate and deliver the energy to the site. To calculate a building’s total source energy, imported and exported energy is multiplied by the appropriate site-to-source conversion multipliers.

• Net Zero Energy Costs: In a cost ZEB, the amount of money the utility pays the building owner for the energy the building exports to the grid is at least equal to the amount the owner pays the utility for the energy services and energy used over the year.

• Net Zero Energy Emissions: A net-zero emissions building produces at least as much emissions-free renewable energy as it uses from emissions-producing energy sources.

What factors determine the NZEB definition and approach?

The NZEB approach and definition can be constructed in several ways, depending on the project goals, intentions of the investor, concern about the climate change and greenhouse gas emissions or finally the energy costs.

What is integrated design process and why is it necessary for achieving NZEB goals?

To create a successful high-performance building, an interactive approach to the design process is required. It means all the stakeholders—everyone involved in the planning, design, use, construction, operation, and maintenance of the facility—must fully understand the issues and concerns of all the other parties and interact closely throughout all phases of the project.

What is the difference between off-grid and on-grid NZEB?

NZEBs connected to electricity grid are called on grid NZEBs and those that are standalone buildings not connected to the supply grid are off-grid NZEBs. The only examples of the latter type in India can be primarily residential buildings situated in remote mountainous regions of the country.

How will we account for energy use for NZEBs? How do balance boundary is defined for NZEB?

Some projects target net zero energy use at the site. Others allow for purchased renewable energy to supplement on-site renewables, with that energy use accounted for at the source. In other cases, energy cost is the predominant factor, with the goal being to offset any purchased energy with revenues Realized through the sale of on-site renewables. Still others target net zero emissions of carbon, nitrogen oxides, and sulphur dioxide.

What are our boundaries for choosing among renewable energy options?

If a project targets net zero energy use at site that necessarily limits the renewable energy choices to sources and technologies available within the building footprint or at the site. Some projects use renewable energy sources from beyond the site (e.g., biomass) to produce power at the site, while others incorporate purchased renewable energy. Clearly, getting to an agreement on energy-use accounting and renewables options is pivotal to determining NZEB design goals and strategies.

I still have questions. Whom should I contact?

Please see the contact us section.

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