What Is Net Zero Living?
As we say in our Learn More section, "a 'net zero' community is one that, on an annual basis, produces as much or more energy than it consumes. " In other words, we produce more renewable energy than we use throughout the year. That's a lot of energy, considering we have 248 units worth of people who use energy every day, so how do we do it?
Before we get into that, we first need to understand why net zero living is so important. Climate change is becoming an ever more clear and present danger to society, so we need to derive solutions that mitigate our carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment. For rental buildings, this can be a challenge since living spaces contribute a significant portion of carbon dioxide emissions. That's why one of the easiest ways to decrease our carbon dioxide output is by starting with more renewable energy input.
One key tactic that we use to achieve net zero status is having three methods of solar energy production on our Solara buildings:
1. The first way is through our solar carports, shown below, which serve to cover our residents' vehicles and charge them too.
2. The second way is through solar thermal panels that use the sun’s energy to heat water for the domestic hot water system.
3. And the last way we produce solar energy is through solar shades on our windows, which harness the solar power hitting our buildings' sides.
Each of these methods produce the energy necessary to power our living spaces and then some. Beyond renewable energy production, we also decrease the energy needed to heat and cool buildings, which is called passive energy design. There are several mechanisms throughout the buildings that we'll explore in the coming weeks that make our passive energy design possible.
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