A ‘Net Zero Energy Building’ (NZEB) is a building that produces as much renewable energy as it consumes annually thereby eliminating its dependency on conventional energy systems. These buildings are characterised by reduced energy requirements and use of renewable energy systems to meet the reduced energy needs. 

With the rise in awareness about climate change and the effects of the construction industry on our environment, ‘Net Zero Energy design’ is steadily gaining traction.   

Here are 10 Firms designing Net Zero Energy buildings around the world:  

1. CCBA DESIGNS  

Founded by Master Architect Christopher Charles Benninger in 1995, CCBA Designs is an internationally recognized practice based in Pune, India. The design philosophy of this practice has its roots in the integration of nature and the built environment and lays strong emphasis on the end-user experience. Suzlon One Earth is a ‘zero energy’ project designed by CCBA Designs. The project generates energy on-site through photovoltaic panels and windmills and has a LEED platinum as well as a GRIHA five-star certification.  

Content reference: https://ccba.in/about/

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Suzlon One Earth campus ©www.suzlon.com/
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Suzlon One Earth campus ©www.suzlon.com/
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Suzlon One Earth campus ©www.suzlon.com/

2. MILLER HULL   

The west coast-based architecture practice, Miller Hull, has studios in San Diego and Seattle. Architects David Miller and Robert Hull founded this carbon-neutral practice in 1977. Values of Sustainability and Ecological Design have been part of this studio since its inception. The Bullitt Centre in Seattle is a private office project designed by Miller Hull. The 52,000 square feet Bullitt Centre is one of the most energy-efficient structures in the world and is one of the four buildings in the United States which are a part of the Living Building Challenge. The building is self-sufficient in its energy requirements, which are generated by the roof-top solar array. A High performing building envelope, closed-loop geothermal ventilation system, net-zero water and passive cooling are few of the salient features of this net-zero energy office space.  

Content reference: https://millerhull.com/

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Bullitt Centre in Seattle ©www.flickr.com/
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Bullitt Centre in Seattle ©www.flickr.com/
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Bullitt Centre in Seattle ©www.flickr.com/

3. SERIE ARCHITECTS 

Serie Architects is a multinational practice with studios in Mumbai, Singapore, and London. Founded by Architect Christopher Lee in 2008, the practice specializes in Architecture, Research and Urban Design. The award-winning firm is known for its distinctive and contextual design and has carved a niche for itself in contemporary architecture. Singapore’s first net-zero energy building, National University of Singapore’s (NUS) School of Design and Environment was designed by Serie Architects in collaboration with Multiply Architects. The design of the building employs solar panels, hybrid cooling system and passive ventilation to achieve energy self-sufficiency.  

Content reference: 

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/nus-launches-singapores-first-net-zero-energy-building-to-be-built-from 

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Longshot of the School of Environment and Design ©www.serie.co.uk/
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Longshot of the School of Environment and Design ©www.serie.co.uk/
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Longshot of the School of Environment and Design ©www.serie.co.uk/

4. MORPHOSIS  

Morphosis is an interdisciplinary practise founded by Thomas Mayne in 1972. With studios in Los Angeles and New York City, the firm has worked on projects of varying scales ranging from residential, institutional to large urban planning projects. The firm has also diversified into product and furniture design, research and artwork. The Bloomberg Centre at Cornell Tech is one of the largest ‘net-zero energy’ building designed by Morphosis. The building is a LEED platinum certified structure and is self-sufficient for its energy requirements. A 40,000 square feet solar canopy generates the energy on-site. Green Roof, geothermal wells, high performing facade, and rainwater harvesting are the key features of this project.  

Content reference:

https://www.architonic.com/en/project/morphosis-architects-the-bloomberg-center/5106179  

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Bloomberg Centre at Cornell Tech ©www.morphosis.com/
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Bloomberg Centre at Cornell Tech ©www.morphosis.com/
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Bloomberg Centre at Cornell Tech ©www.morphosis.com/

5. SKIDMORE, OWINGS AND MERRILLLLP (SOM)  

Founded in 1936, Skidmore, Owings and Merrillis one of the largest design collectives with a global presence. With over 10,000 completed projects under their belt, SOM is known for pushing the creative envelope and creating high performing sustainable designs. Designed by SOM, the Pertamina Energy Tower in Jakarta is a 99-storey headquarters for the state-owned energy company. The high-performance tower is a ‘net-zero energy’ structure with a central energy plant catering to the tower’s energy requirements. Other ‘net-zero energy’ projects by SOM include Pearl Tower in Guangzhou and the Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability in New York City.  

Content reference: https://www.som.com/projects/pertamina_energy_tower

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The Pertamina Energy Tower in Jakarta ©www.som.com/
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The Pertamina Energy Tower in Jakarta ©www.som.com/
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The Pertamina Energy Tower in Jakarta ©www.som.com/

6. MIKOU DESIGN STUDIO   

Founded by Architects Selma and Salwa Mikou in 2005, Paris based Mikou Design Studio is a multi-disciplinary practice. The design philosophy of the firm revolves around the interaction between people and the spaces in their environment. Mikou Design Studio has a sturdy presence in Europe with projects in France and Germany. The Docks school designed by the studio is a ‘net-zero energy project’ that uses passive design techniques along with active energy generation through the means of solar panels.  

Content reference: http://mikoustudio.com

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The Docks School ©www.mikoustudio.com/
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The Docks School ©www.mikoustudio.com/
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The Docks School ©www.mikoustudio.com/

7. BNIM   

Established in 1970, BNIM has been a pioneer in sustainable design. Apart from designing high performance sustainable buildings, BNIM has been instrumental in the founding and development of USGBC (US Green Building Council), LEED rating system and the Living Building Challenge. BNIM has a strong international presence and has been working towards a more sustainable future since its inception. With a diverse portfolio, BNIM also has the world’s first LEED platinum-certified Living Building to its name: Omega Centre for Sustainable Living.  

Content reference: https://www.bnim.com/

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Omega Centre for Sustainable Living ©www.bnim.com/
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Omega Centre for Sustainable Living ©www.bnim.com/
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Omega Centre for Sustainable Living ©www.bnim.com/

8. BJARKE INGELS GROUP  

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is a multinational architecture practice founded by Danish Architect Bjarke Ingels and has studios in Copenhagen and New York. With a strong global presence, BIG is a multi-disciplinary practice with an immensely diverse portfolio. BIG’s proposal ‘Oceanix City’ is a self-sustaining floating city. This futuristic city embodies the values of ‘hedonistic sustainability’ which forms the core design philosophy of BIG. The proposal for ‘Oceanix City’ uses solar and wind energy systems to achieve ‘net-zero energy’.    

Content reference: https://www.azuremagazine.com/article/big-oceanix-city-bjarke-ingels/   

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Oceanix City ©OCEANIX/BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.
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Oceanix City ©OCEANIX/BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.
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Oceanix City ©OCEANIX/BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

9. FOSTER+PARTNERS 

Pritzker Prize awardee, Architect Norman Foster founded Foster + Partners in 1967. The internationally recognized practice has studios all across the world. Sustainable Design and Innovation form the core of the firm’s design philosophy. Foster+Partners is also the first design practice to sign up for the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, which means that the firm is committed to using only those buildings that are carbon neutral. The Masdar City proposal in Abu Dhabi by Foster + Partners is a 640-hectare project that combines the latest technology and the traditional Arab housing to create a sustainable net-zero energy city.  

Content reference: https://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/masdar-city/ 

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Masdar City ©www.fosterandpartners.com/
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Masdar City ©www.fosterandpartners.com/
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Masdar City ©www.fosterandpartners.com/

10. BERE: ARCHITECTS

Bere: Architects is a London based award-winning design studio founded by Justin Bere. The firm has over twenty years of experience in sustainable design and high performing architecture. Bere: Architects have aligned their design methodology to the Passive House Institute in Germany, which has the most advanced standards for sustainable design. Lark Rise designed by Bere: Architects, is a high performing residence that consumes 97 per cent less energy than any other house in the United Kingdom. 

Content reference: https://www.bere.co.uk/architecture/ 

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High performing residence Lark Rise ©www.bere.co.uk/
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High performing residence Lark Rise ©www.bere.co.uk/
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High performing residence Lark Rise ©www.bere.co.uk/
Author

Anushri Kulkarni is a 24-year-old, Mumbai based architect with a passion for green architecture. She is a voracious reader and consumes all genres with equal gusto. Apart from being an architect, she is also a budding architecture and interior photographer.

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