August 3, 2017

Net Zero Energy + Water + Waste: Be a Part of the Conversation!

By Sofia Siegel

In the weeks leading up to the Net Zero 2017: Energy + Water + Waste conference – now in its fourth year – the excitement is mounting. This year will be the first full-day conference hosted by Verdical Group, and the conference will be hosted at IBEW NECA’s Net Zero Plus facility. World class presenters and exhibitors are confirmed and the Keynote Speakers are all giants in our field.

Maybe you’ve heard of Net Zero in the building context, but you haven’t known what it means, or how it applies to you. And that’s ok – there’s a lot to unpack in a seemingly-simple phrase, and there are points that even experts disagree on. Big picture: a Net Zero Energy (or Zero Net Energy, sometimes ZNE) building produces/generates as much energy as it uses over the course of a year. To achieve this, buildings blend efficiency measures to minimize energy requirements, and renewable energy systems that meet those reduced energy needs.

This is a crucial piece in the built environment’s role in the fight against climate change, and has been integrated into California’s Title 24; by 2020 all new residential buildings must be Zero Net Energy, and by 2030 all commercial buildings must follow suit. This will spur the construction of buildings that will fundamentally reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, advance the clean energy economy and production of renewables, and reduce California’s carbon footprint.

After three annual, half-day conferences focusing on Net Zero Energy Projects, the Verdical Group team decided to extend the day and provide a full day of content, and expand the content to include Zero Water and Zero Waste (using no more than you generate or capture onsite). It was in part a response to the increase in interest we’ve seen year after year, and in part because each year the issues of Net Zero – and more  broadly of sustainability and climate change – become more pressing and more crucial to address. And as the changes to Title 24 take effect in a little over two years, now is a key time to ensure people have all of the right information so as to implement changes.

Offering both a broad overview as well as a meaningful deep-dive, the conference will provide a combination of case studies and panels, putting forward broad ideas and project specifics. A panel of experts behind the IBEW/NECA Net Zero Plus building (this year’s Conference host venue) will provide real world insight into practical ways to improve grid reliability, reduce electricity costs, and employ energy storage solutions, using a local Net Zero building as the case study. In discussing high-level considerations, including energy independence and security, and natural disaster and emergency response solutions, the audience will have big picture take-aways about how the impacts of Net Zero can ripple through a project and community.

By presenting varying scales and strategies, the conference sets out to find points of entry for all attendees. The audience will learn about net zero projects that range from local, single family residential projects in the context of Passive House, to an International Airport, to NREL’s full ZNE portfolio. The three major Southern California Energy Utilities will present on the future of Net Zero in our region, bringing the unique perspective of their respective agencies, and the barriers they are encountering.

The Net Zero Conference convenes people looking for solutions. Whether it’s architects and engineers who need to know more about the upcoming California code changes, Utility and Government/Municipal professionals who want to know how their agencies will be affected (and how that will translate to future action), or the Manufacturers and Energy Providers who know that clean energy as a product or in the supply chain makes a difference to consumers, 600 building industry professionals will be in attendance on August 24th, ready to dive into the nitty-gritty and learn from each other’s momentum and mistakes. Everyone has room to grow in this space, and as each firm makes advancements, the entire industry moves forward.

How do you fit into the conversation? Join us on August 24th, 2017, and register for the Net Zero Energy + Water + Waste Conference today!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions at sofia.siegel@verdicalgroup.com

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