Massachusetts and the City of Boston are looking toward the future and seeing that they need to make changes to support a healthier environment. Currently, Boston is part of a pilot program that aims to reduce fossil fuel usage and increase net zero buildings.
As more effort goes into this initiative, new construction and major renovations aim to have “net zero” and “net zero ready” buildings ready to meet the requirements of a fossil fuel-free standard.
Here’s what you should know about what makes a building “net zero” or “net zero ready” and how it impacts new construction in Boston.
What’s the difference between net zero and net zero ready?
Depending on the project, aiming for zero fossil fuel use can be overwhelming and expensive. There are three elements for a building to be in the net zero category; they are as follows:
- Energy efficiency
- Minimal fossil fuel usage
- On and off-site renewable energy
A building with all three elements can offset its minimal fossil fuel usage with renewable energy, creating a net zero carbon footprint. If a building is both energy efficient and uses minimal fossil fuels but does not have on and off-site renewable energy resources, they are in the “net zero ready” category.
Many buildings already meet these standards
Over the last several years, developers have been looking toward the future and seeing that buildings need long-term sustainability, including a smaller carbon footprint. Currently, almost 30 million square feet of Massachusetts buildings are net zero or net zero ready.
One of the common hesitations for these greener buildings tends to be the cost. Still, according to recent research, most projects tend to have a similar price to their less-environmentally conscious counterparts.
Boston is currently in a state of transition concerning green-focused initiatives. It is essential to stay current on the changes when looking at a new project or major renovation.