Good progress is being made on the UWI Net Zero Energy Building being constructed on the UWI Mona campus. This will be the Caribbean’s first net zero energy building.
What is a net zero energy building?
A Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) is a building in which the total amount of energy used on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site or at other renewable energy sources.
These buildings at times consume non-renewable energy and produce greenhouse gases while at other times reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas production by the same amount. As a result, these buildings do not increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The UWI Net Zero Energy Building will consist of an advanced prototype constructed as a demonstration of emerging and best practices in the built environment, including energy efficiency, ideal building layout, window detailing, efficient lighting and cooling.
It will also demonstrate:
- Renewable Energy – the use of photovoltaic (PV) panels
- Water Management – collection and reuse of rain and storm water as well as waste water from the building’s operations
- Environmental Design – overall design to build resilience to changing climatic conditions including hurricanes, storms, floods and drought as well as earthquake resistance
The goal is a modal shift in building forms and technologies, making zero net energy construction the preferred option in tropical and sub-tropical regions.