Zero Energy Residential Construction: Competition helps us move from Ideas to Reality

Those of us in the residential net zero energy community have lived on the fringe for quite a few years now. Each year we expect more change and greater acceptance. We have loved our conferences that brought new ideas and encouragement. Bright innovators with limited capital were commonplace but too few marque zero energy residential projects resulted. Many new ideas fell on deaf ears in the early days. Being first has always had some disadvantages, but we believed and pressed on. In the last 18 months I have seen more new solutions enter the marketplace with greater acceptance and traction. Some of the many venues to see those products include Resnet, TecHome, and Build Exchange events where product manufacturers, builders, and the energy community convene.   It is fantastic to see the creativity resulting in superior products replacing inferior solutions. Pulte’s recent announcement to start building net zero energy homes means mainstream housing is in for a big change. The acquisition of Goodman by Daikin in 2012 to create the world’s largest HVAC company is yet another clue that industry leaders believe energy savings and sustainability will be highly valued in the US marketplace. It is very exciting to move from the bleeding edge to early adoption, too. Persistence has it rewards along with that creativity. If you are one of those fortunate few that have kept at it for many years, kudos! Dave Trott (The Gate) once said, “Creativity may well be the last legal unfair competitive advantage we can take to run over the competition.” As our industry moves from being misunderstood to more mainstream, we still have much...
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