Loosely defined, a "Net-Zero" building describes a structure that produces the same amount of energy as it consumes.And in the United States, the implementation of these specific types of buildings is rising.
In Lakeland, Florida, a local credit union operated by President and CEO John Santarpia, endeavored to erect the state's first "net-zero" building.
Opening in 2009, the rectangular shaped building boasts 4,000 square feet of office space, high ceilings, and an upward-sloping roof, which utilizes a "double roof" design that generates solar energy while simultaneously cooling the building from the scorching Florida sun.
Additionally, the building uses other energy-saving techniques, including Energy Star appliances, equipment that shades the building's interior from the sun, and cutting-edge insulation technology to further mitigate the Florida heat.
In the end, the Santarpia's office building serves as a paragon of green engineering and construction.Last October's utility bill stated that the building generated more power than it consumed.In fact, the "Net-Zero" building actually sent 45% of the energy it produced back into Florida's power grid.