Getting to zero: Best pitch for ZNE

January 21, 2015

For the last couple of years, Resource Media and the New Buildings Institute have been wrestling with a challenging question: What’s the best way to sell zero net energy (ZNE) buildings within the building sector?

The good news is we’ve finally got an answer.

At the upcoming Getting to Zero Forum in Washington DC in early February, I’ll be sharing Resource Media’s best advice and guidance for convincing the building sector to embrace zero net energy buildings. And it couldn’t come at a better time.

For those of us who’ve already drunk the ZNE Kool-Aid, it can be hard to grasp why more buildings and designers aren’t shooting for ZNE.

Meanwhile, catalyzing ZNE adoption has never been more important. As Ed Mazria with Architecture 2030 has pointed out so eloquently, buildings are the largest contributors to climate change, and in the next two decades three quarters of the built environment will either be new or renovated.

We either make buildings part of the solution by inspiring the building sector to revolutionize how it designs, constructs and renovates buildings, or we lock in huge increases in greenhouse gas emissions, dooming future generations to the unimaginable perils of climate disruption.

As we consider that challenge, it’s important to keep in mind something I’ll be emphasizing during my presentation at the Getting to Zero Forum: ZNE was not created to meet an existing market demand. It’s not as if builders and designers and others were out there clamoring for a really high standard to meet. Instead, ZNE was invented as a way to create market demand for high performance buildings.

To create that market demand, we need to start focusing our messaging and pitch on what our audience cares and thinks about, not what we care and think about.

And what’s that? Well, without spilling the beans entirely, let’s just say that most builders and designers aren’t losing sleep every night worrying about climate change and sustainability initiatives.

Get the fully skinny by joining me at the Getting to Zero Forum in Washington DC, February 1-3. Or, stay tuned and we’ll share our full recommendations on this blog after the forum!

Amy Frykman