Net-Zero Building Stock Slowly Picking up Steam

New software, building materials contribute to growing market.   December 27, 2023

By Dave Lubach, Executive Editor

While the number of net-zero energy buildings are rising worldwide, they still represent a very small percentage of the building stock. 

ABI Research reported that net-zero buildings represent a tiny fraction of the buildings in the world – only 0.023 percent globally, but the segment is gaining momentum. As government policies and newer technologies support climate change initiatives, the net-zero market is projected to grow at a 29 percent compound annual growth rate through 2027. 

The report projects more than 5,500 commercial and residential net-zero buildings by 2027, up from 1,200 in 2022. Progress in renewable energy, improved efficiency software and sustainable materials are cited as primary reasons for the surge. Other contributing factors are the rise in dependency on solar energy, geothermal heating and improved battery storage.  

Net-zero buildings carry a 5-19 percent premium for institutional and commercial buildings according to the research, with the operations investment paid back over decades through significantly lower utility and maintenance costs. The facility managers and business owners who can demonstrate positive value in net-zero upgrades are having more success getting such projects through to the finish line. 

“Technologies now exist to make net-zero energy feasible at scale,” says Dominique Bonte, vice president, End Markets, with ABI Research. “But the real estate ecosystem must continue collaborating across construction, policy, finance and technology to make it attractive and accessible for owners globally.” 

Dave Lubach is executive editor of the facility market.  


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