Understanding Zero-Energy Buildings

Paul A. Torcellini, Drury B. Crawley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus Citations


The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Building Technologies Program has set a research goal of making commercial zero-energy buildings (ZEBs) marketable by 2005. In concept, a ZEB has greatly reduced energy loads such that renewable energy can supply the remaining energy needs. This immediately begs some questions: "This is a far stretch from our current energy-efficient building - is it even possible?" "Are there examples out there that are even close?" To address these question, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted an assessment of the commercial sector to evaluate the technical potential for meeting this goal based on possible technology improvements for 2025. NREL also evaluated seven low-energy commercial buildings to determine with respect to their ability to meet a zero energy goal.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)62-69
Number of pages8
JournalASHRAE Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-550-41024


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