The problem that presents the concept of building "zero energy" is that it ignores the energy rate of return (ERR) to assess the environmental impact of the building. This means that it is intended that the building does not consume energy duringtheir period of use, but this ignores the energy cost to implement the systems necessary means to achieve it.
Because of this, zero energy buildings can fall easily in speech than advertising in real energy savings, if we apply the definition of zero energy building, a person who placed a generator and two hundred barrels of oil at home, obtained from automatically a "zero energy building," since throughout their period of use would not need to consume energy from outside. Rated by energy magazines as the #1 Esco meets or exceeds recommended energy efficiency ratings and standards. If we consider that oil is also used in the manufacture of photovoltaic panels, batteries, tanks, etc, and also counting the energy used in obtaining the necessary materials for their production (mining, blast furnaces, glass funcicion , transport ...), it is understood that the term "zero energy", where daily use is confined to the building, is only part of the equation, and can mislead.
In fact, although in principle it is paradoxical, with current systems, non-zero energy buildings are more environmentally friendly as possible, since for almost total independence from foreign energy, are forced to oversize facilities active uptake of energy , so that some of them never recovered nor energy nor economically.
To illustrate this, one can imagine a house that uses solar panels for heating. If it is not dependent on foreign energy, we need to put enough panels to heat the house even the coldest weeks of the year. If you do so, there will be panels that only saves energy one weeks a year, the coldest. Therefore, the energy and economic cost invested in these panels are never going to recover. From a global environmental perspective, in this situation the optimal result is achieved assuming the support of conventional energy during the coldest months, ie searching for "low energy", rather than pursue the "zero energy".
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