Construction Management Department
BS in Construction Management
Scott Kelting, Philip Barlow
California has created a mandate that will require all new residential buildings to become Zero Net Energy by 2020. Some are already doing it others don’t know what it means, and some don’t think it will be possible. Those that already do it are doing it without any extra cost. All that is required is, on average, a 4KW roof solar panel system. This is something that easy to install and only requires a little more planning during the design phase. There are many other things that a designer and builder can do to successfully reach ZNE including focus on the envelope or natural light, but the minimum would be the 4KW system. ZNE is actually a very easily attainable goal. A lot of the worry surrounding ZNE 2020 is actually due to the lack or information some builders have about it. Not knowing what ZNE means or how to actually implement it creates a lot of worry for small builders who have done it a certain way for so long. Realizing that their needs to be more information, California made a plan to begin educating professionals on what the expectation is. 2020 seems like a long time away, but it really isn’t for those in the construction industry. The change has to start now and the programs have to be introduced in order to educate those who don’t know. When 2020 comes around California will be ready for the mandate, and if they are not they will begin to adapt to it very quickly.