Metal Buildings and Net-Zero Performance, Are You Kidding?

The Friday Special Edition..
Metal Construction News and Net-Zero buildings? I mean metal building and net-zero design, who would have thought. But check this article out "10 Things to Know about Net-Zero." Mark Robins, Senior Editor of Metal Construction News writes about an unlikely topic, how metal buildings can achieve net-zero status. To his credit Mr. Robbins addresses the issues of air leakage and thermal performance as two of the largest issues
to overcome for metal building construction. I think he is right on with his assessment of technologies to be used to gain the prestigious position of net-zero performance by metal building design.

In my view, metal buildings have a perception problem rather than a technological limitation. We have the technology to allow this sector of our industry to perform just as well, or even better than traditional construction technologies. Window systems, wall systems and roofing systems are all available from both the alternative and traditional design camps. When you look at net-zero buildings it is not only the exterior envelope that must perform, but also the interior support systems of HVAC, power and lighting as active systems as well. Even the passive design elements of orientation, harnessing solar gain as an advantage and the use of water in the design all can and should play an important role in achieving a net-zero performance rating. So if you can be more efficient with the structural frame and exterior envelope and still achieve high performance, why not?

Mark does a really great job of providing a nice collection or resources for learning more about net-zero buildings. Even if you don't use engineered steel frame buildings you need to check out his resource list, it is a keeper.

My hat is off Mark. Thanks for writing such an insightful and encouraging article. Let's all encourage more designers and owners take this to heart and implement new projects as net-zero performance projects and use efficient and high-performing construction technologies like engineered building systems as part of their solutions.

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