When looking for the perfect home, you may wonder, what are zero energy prefab homes?

The need to reduce emissions has risen with the growing concern about climate change's effects. Governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals are beginning to take heed and devise ways to reduce emissions if the earth continues serving us. This topic directly affects the built environment, which accounts for a large portion of the emissions, 40% to be precise. It is therefore only responsible for everyone to want to learn more about zero energy, what a zero energy building means, types of zero energy homes and how to achieve zero energy home.

Zero Energy Building Definition

A zero energy building is mostly preferred for its innovative design, improved building systems, energy efficiency, and onsite solar panels. They are typical grid-connected structures that are so energy efficient, airtight, and well-insulated that they generate as much renewable energy as they consume, leaving the residents with a net zero energy cost and a carbon-free building. Zero energy buildings are incredibly cozy, healthy, quiet, and sustainable.

Types of Zero Energy Homes

There are a variety of zero energy homes. These homes often use passive solar design strategies such as south-facing windows, orientation, thermal mass, and shading to lessen heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. They might include radiant barriers, insulation, and other materials to increase their effectiveness. These are the zero energy home options that you can achieve in any location:

Passive Solar House

A passive solar house uses the location's climate and building's materials to reduce energy consumption. The walls of these homes are built of thick building materials like brick, stone, and concrete blocks that absorb and reflect the sun's rays into the space in the warm season. In cold weather, masonry absorbs heat from warm air in the house. The roof is usually tilted at 45 degrees to optimize sunlight into the structure. The sun's rays warm the interior of this house. Passive solar homes also have large windows and doors to let in as much natural light as possible. Typically, the windows in these homes should face south and not be shaded during the heating season.

Radiant Barrier Home

Radiant barriers consist of highly reflective material, usually aluminum foil, that reduces radiant heat by reflecting but not absorbing it. The reflective material is more effective when facing air, space, and dust-free. Radiant barriers are primarily installed in attics and are more suitable in hot climates than in cool temperatures as they reduce 5%-10% of cooling costs when used in warm and sunny climates. The material placed between the outside and interior surfaces of walls prevents heat from escaping through the outer wall. Radiant barriers are used in tandem with most other passive solar techniques.

Solar Hot Water Heating System

The solar water heater heats water by utilizing solar energy. A collection, a tank, and a pump are the components of a solar water heater. The collector is positioned on the roof to capture light and transform it into heat. The circulating pump then transfers this heat to the water tank.

How to Achieve Net Zero Energy

Several things must be done to achieve net zero energy homes, especially for new buildings.

Maximize on daylight

Modern designers are keen to ensure maximum daylight optimization by creating large windows and doors. This ensures that there is little to no need to use artificial lighting during the day because the light from the sun getting into the house is sufficient for brightening major building spaces. The use of low- E glass on the windows and doors is paramount to reduce heat loss and glare and overall improve occupancy comfort.

Minimize the use of fossil fuels

The supply of affordable zero carbon energy is ensured by giving electric heat pumps and fifth-generation heat network technologies precedence over fossil fuel technologies.

Reduce operating energy demand and consumption.

Prioritizing fabric methods to lower the heating, cooling, and lighting can reduce operating energy demand and consumption. Instead of using heating and cooling equipment, occupants can be encouraged to adjust their clothing, use fans, and let natural airflow through their spaces.

In already-existing buildings, rigid foam insulation, double-wall construction, or both can be used to prevent thermal bridges between rooms and roof insulation added.

Wall cracks should be closed by applying an expanding foam spray, followed by blowing fiberglass insulation into the space. The fiberglass helps keep expenses low by minimizing moisture damage, and the thin layer of insulation keeps heat from escaping through the walls.

Additionally, since they can be used both inside and outside, it is worth considering installing outdoor lighting fixtures directly on the ceiling rather than on the floor or a wall.


Before moving toward a net-zero energy home, homeowners must consider the associated costs.

Contrary to widespread assumption, creating a net-zero home is not extremely expensive. Considering the money saved on utility bills, you may spend a little more on construction than on a standard building, but you save more. According to research, building a net-zero home increases construction expenses by 1 to 8%. The ultimate upfront prices, however, might vary depending on several factors, such as geo-location, property size, architectural design characteristics, and the fitted home appliances. A zero-energy home could add $40 to your monthly mortgage payment. Appliances, windows, doors, insulation, and other upgrades necessary to meet the criteria will cost more for homeowners. Some of the savings made possible by using less electricity help to offset these increases.

Energy Efficiency and Savings

Compared to conventional homes, a zero energy home can reduce energy consumption by up to 90%. Therefore, homeowners may be able to reduce their annual household spending by up to $600. Your yearly savings may be significantly more significant if you reside in a chilly climate. A zero energy home will shield you from a sharp increase in energy costs. You will continue to spend the same amount to keep your family warm and your lights on in ten years. The price will be nil or very close to nothing. Therefore, the tiny initial investment will result in long-term savings.

Smart Investment Option

Homebuyers are becoming more aware of the value of investing in zero energy and zero energy-ready homes. These extremely eco-friendly dwellings feature zero net carbon emissions and no energy costs. Compared to conventional homes, they use more modern technology and are more potent, quieter, more comfortable, and healthier to live in.

A zero energy home doesn't have to be expensive or difficult to build, which is its best feature. Many materials needed to construct a zero-energy home are already on the market. Saving money is now simple to begin right away. Additionally, you'll see that your efficiency increases when you utilize fewer resources overall. The future of the housing market is zero energy homes. Stay ahead of the game.

July 27, 2022 — Della Wang