This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 05, 2006

Sustainable Business Group Develops Zero Energy Buildings

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD) announced on March 29th that it is forming an alliance of leading global companies to develop zero energy buildings. The alliance will aim to determine how buildings can be designed and constructed so that they use no net energy from external power grids, are carbon neutral, and can be built and operated at fair market values. United Technologies Corporation, the world's largest supplier of capital goods for the commercial building industry, and Lafarge Group, the world leader in building materials, are heading up the industry effort. Based in Geneva, the WBSCD is a coalition of some 180 international companies united by a shared commitment to sustainable development.

Buildings today account for about 40 percent of energy consumption in developed countries. The WBSCD effort has ambitious targets: By 2050, new buildings will consume zero net energy from external power supplies and produce zero net carbon dioxide emissions while being economically viable to construct and operate. To achieve those goals, the buildings will require a combination of onsite power generation and ultra-efficient building materials and equipment. See the WBSCD press release.