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State's First Net Zero Energy Summit Promotes Innovation in Construction

Mon November 19, 2018 - West Edition #24
Utah Business


This Net Zero Energy Summit offered strategies for the building industry to utilize net zero building practices, and explored opportunities for community, industry and government leaders to increase net zero adoption across the state.
This Net Zero Energy Summit offered strategies for the building industry to utilize net zero building practices, and explored opportunities for community, industry and government leaders to increase net zero adoption across the state.

Leaders from multiple local governments; the building and design industry; community organizations; appraisers; realtors; and utilities came together to explore how to accelerate the proliferation of net zero energy buildings during Utah's first ever Net Zero Energy Summit.

This groundbreaking event was headlined by Sam Rashkin, construction industry author and chief architect of the U.S. Dept. of Energy. In addition, government leaders including Laura Nelson, Utah Governor's Energy Advisor; Park City Mayor Andy Beerman; Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski; Summit County Council Chair Kim Carson; and Moab City Mayor Emily Niehaus are all participating in the event.

"With Utah's rising population, buildings are set to surpass transportation as our main source of emissions along the Wasatch Front," said Nelson. "Utah's first Net Zero Energy Summit is key in exploring opportunities to bring innovative building solutions to market that can continue to provide both economic and environmental outcomes in our thriving state."

Net zero energy buildings generate as much energy as they utilize, making them a vital component for communities committed to lowering emissions, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Summit County and Moab City, which have each set-forth ambitious carbon reduction goals. The Summit included a "Mayor's Panel" featuring leaders from local government discussing how net zero building can help them achieve their ambitious goals, and strategies to make net zero building more commonplace.

Net zero buildings have been around in Utah for several years; yet, they remain the exception in building practices. This summit offered strategies for the building industry to utilize net zero building practices, and explored opportunities for community, industry and government leaders to increase net zero adoption across the state.

"We're honored to have so many thought-leaders in the construction industry come to share case studies, innovative strategies, and cost-saving techniques," said Tiffany Ivins, a leader in Utah's Net-Zero Consortium "Net zero is an important movement to create better buildings that demand less energy, reduce air emissions, and improve health for humans and our environment."

As a leader of Utah's Great Basin Collaborative, David Griffin, added: "Since 40 percent of the local air emissions in our valley come from ‘area sources', which includes energy consumption in our built environment, what we build and how we build matters. Air quality is a personal issue for me and my asthmatic son. I'm excited to learn from leaders across Utah to raise the bar on building performance."