THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 11


feature

The Future of

Natural
Gas
in

Zero Energy
Building Design
By Rich Groom, Sparks Research
Net Zero Buildings in the
Commercial Marketplace
As many in the natural gas world
are aware, net zero building codes are
influencing the future of residential and
commercial architecture. While net zero
buildings will continue to evolve over time,
it is apparent that those in the natural gas
industry will need to understand how
natural gas will position itself within the
future of commercial architecture.
A zero-energy building, also known
as a zero net energy (ZNE) building, 
net-zero energy building (NZEB), or net
zero building, is a building with zero net
energy consumption, meaning the total
amount of energy used by the building
on an annual basis is roughly equal to the
amount of renewable energy created on
the site. These buildings consequently do
not increase the amount of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere. They do at times
consume non-renewable energy and
produce greenhouse gases, but at other
times they reduce energy consumption

and greenhouse gas production
elsewhere by the same amount.
In order to gain a better
understanding of how commercial
architects view natural gas and how this
energy source could be impacted by
net zero, the APGA Marketing & Sales
Committee, APGA Research Foundation
and Sparks Research conducted a
national online study surveying 212
commercial architects in April 2016.
This study was exploratory in nature
as the goal was to create baseline
measures on satisfaction with natural
gas, opinions on the future of natural gas
and net zero in commercial architecture,
overall familiarity of net zero, as well as
opinions relating to building designs and
measurement systems.
Opinions of Natural Gas in the
Commercial Building Space
Two out of three commercial
architects rated their overall satisfaction
with natural gas in the commercial

building space as "Extremely Satisfied."
This means that 66 percent provided
a rating of 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point
satisfaction scale. Interestingly, those
that say they are "Very Familiar" with net
zero energy design provided significantly
higher overall satisfaction ratings at
roughly a two-to-one ratio compared
to commercial architects that are only
"Somewhat Familiar." This finding is
important as it shows advocacy for
natural gas among those who are already
knowledgeable about net zero.
Commercial architects also state
that when considering adding natural
gas to existing designs, the overall
feasibility, cost and the fact that natural
gas is a good energy solution are the
primary thoughts and considerations.
This is a good position for natural gas
as commercial architects not only rate
high overall satisfaction with natural
gas, but it also identifies that natural gas
is a solution that fits well with current
building plans.
THE SOURCE | WINTER 2016, VOL. 9, ISSUE 2 11

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Winter 2016

First Person
APGA Events
Industry Update: Furnace Rule Report
The Future of Natural Gas in Zero Energy Building Design
Bringing Success to Succession in the Utility World
Taking a Fresh Look at Distributed Generation and CHP
Why Energy Codes Matter and How They Impact Your Utility
Environmental Group and Utility Work Together
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
At Last
Advertisers’ Index/ Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - bellyband1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - bellyband2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - cover1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - cover2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 5
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 6
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - First Person
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - APGA Events
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 9
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Industry Update: Furnace Rule Report
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - The Future of Natural Gas in Zero Energy Building Design
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 12
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 13
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Bringing Success to Succession in the Utility World
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 15
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Taking a Fresh Look at Distributed Generation and CHP
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 17
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 18
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 19
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Why Energy Codes Matter and How They Impact Your Utility
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 21
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Environmental Group and Utility Work Together
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 23
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Legislative Outlook
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 25
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - The Pipeline
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Marketing Matters
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 28
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 29
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - 30
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - Advertisers’ Index/ Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - cover4
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert1
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert2
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert3
THE SOURCE - Winter 2016 - outsert4
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