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Energy and Environment Directorate

Research Capabilities

Net-Zero Energy, Water, and Waste Planning

Looking at the whole building to balance energy, water, and waste

Net-zero buildings are designed to give as much as they take. For energy, net-zero means producing at least as much renewable energy as the building consumes—after efforts to minimize energy use. Similarly, net-zero water buildings minimize water use and return remaining clean water to its source.

Federal requirements are driving agencies to design and operate net-zero buildings. This includes goals to achieve net-zero energy, water, and waste over the next 10-15 years, so those buildings may become more resilient to external influences, like power failures. We’re providing agencies with the roadmaps and tools to meet those goals.

We have practical experience developing net-zero energy, water, and waste roadmaps for numerous federal sites based on robust site-level assessments. Our approach involves:

  • Screening sites with high potential;
  • Conducting site assessments;
  • Identifying conservation, efficiency, and alternative resource use opportunities;
  • Developing alternative pathways to achieve those goals under different system constraints.

We bring together diverse capabilities in whole-building modeling, operations optimization, renewable energy and alternative water feasibility, microgrid assessment, and waste management to define the best solution.

Point of Contact

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas