What if I told you it was possible for a village to run entirely on solar energy? Don’t believe me? Well, say hello to the apartment complex of the future, netZero Village.
NetZero Village is the brainchild of Dave Bruns Realty Group. According to their mission statement, their goal is to utilize innovative technologies in order to decrease the negative impact on the environment and improve customer experience.
Impressively, solar panels provide electricity and heating requirements for the entire apartment complex. But that’s not all there is to netZero. True to its name, the complex actually produces as much energy as it consumes, if not more. The complex’s building design utilizes cutting-edge technologies and building techniques that make life incredibly eco-friendly and sustainable for the residents of netZero Village. Some examples of these are passive solar design, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning, and drought tolerant landscaping. Here’s a quick breakdown of each of these components.
Passive solar design
Windows allow sunlight into our homes, and we don’t really think twice about their placement. But what if I asked you to arrange those windows in a way in order to efficiently utilize solar heat during the winter? It may not be so obvious. Passive solar design can accomplish this by placing a large number of windows in the southern direction since it has the advantage of being exposed to the most sun.
High-efficiency heating and air conditioning
Dubbed a “reverse refrigerator,” highly efficient heat pumps to heat the apartments during the winter months and cool them during the summer months. The heat pumps work by pumping the heat from outside air to air inside the apartments (the process being reversed in the summer months).
Drought tolerant landscaping
Did you know lawns that require large amounts of water and equipment cause air pollution? netZero minimizes lawns and utilizes drought tolerant landscaping instead. This technology uses wildflowers and drought-resistant grasses to fill open areas, and also function as a home for wildlife.
These are only a few fantastic technologies and techniques utilized in the netZero apartment complex. It’s safe to say that the netZero village is proof that energy-efficient living can be accomplished. “The owner is really invested in making sustainable living a reality,” says one reviewer of the apartment complex.