Net Zero Energy Buildings: Variations, Clarifications, and Requirements in Response to the Paris Agreement Academic Article uri icon


  • Buildings contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that cause environmental impacts on climate change. Net Zero Energy (NZ) buildings would reduce greenhouse gases. The current definition of NZ lacks consensus and has created uncertainties, which cause delays in the adoption of NZ. This paper proposes a Process for Clarification to Accelerate the Net Zero (PC-A-NZ) through three integrated steps: variations, strategies, and requirements. We expand on the results in published NZ literature to clarify the differences in definition and strategy. The objective of this review is to (1) distinguish current variable parameters that are slowing the acceptance of NZ, and (2) focus the discussion internationally on moving faster toward applying NZ to a larger common agreement. The publications of global NZ target assessment and energy efficient strategies will be reviewed to address the main requirements in expediting NZ’s successful progress. Our NZ review analysis highlights (1) how the existing NZ definitions and criteria differ, (2) how calculation strategies vary, and (3) how standards and requirements are often localized. The proposed PC-A-NZ will help policymakers and stakeholders to re-evaluate the existing definitions, standards, and requirements to optimize the use of renewable technologies, improved energy efficiency and electrification to speed up achieving the NZ targets. Definition: There are multiple NZ definitions that vary in source and supply requirement, timescale, emission source, and grid connection.

published proceedings

  • Energies

altmetric score

  • 0.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Moghaddasi, H., Culp, C., Vanegas, J., & Ehsani, M.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Moghaddasi, Haleh||Culp, Charles||Vanegas, Jorge||Ehsani, Mehrdad

publication date

  • June 2021