Home » Digital convergence fuels surge in global net zero buildings

Digital convergence fuels surge in global net zero buildings

by Mark Cantrell
Founded by Dr David McKee in 2019, the startup's software builds digital twins of real-world objects, assets and systems.

The number of net-zero energy buildings worldwide will experience significant expansion in the coming years, according to a new report from global technology intelligence firm, ABI Research.

Driven by climate imperatives, policy support, and maturing technologies, the market is forecast to grow at a 29% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through to 2027, it says.

Dominique Bonte, vice president, end markets at ABI Research, said:”With buildings accounting for over one-third of global energy consumption, the real estate sector is under mounting pressure to embrace net-zero.

“Governments, corporations, and society at large recognise the pivotal role buildings play in reducing emissions and energy use.”

Despite currently representing just 0.023% of global buildings, the net-zero segment is gaining strong momentum, says ABI. The report projects over 5,500 commercial and residential net-zero buildings globally by 2027, up from 1,200 in 2022.

While still a niche, the company says this growth signals the accelerating transition towards “high-performance” real estate.

The evolution is enabled by progress across renewable energy, efficiency software, and sustainable materials.

Solar photovoltaics, geothermal heating, and battery storage make onsite zero-carbon energy generation achievable. Digital twin systems and building management software from companies such as Siemens, Schneider Electric, and Univers optimize performance. Carbon-storing materials, and circular construction techniques reduce lifecycle impacts.

According to ABI, regions leading the net-zero building charge include North America, Western Europe, and progressive urban centres in Asia Pacific. Supportive policies, technology leadership, and climate awareness drive these markets.

Upfront, net-zero buildings carry a 5-19% premium for commercial and 5-15% for residential. However, the investment pays back over decades of operations through dramatically lowered utility and maintenance costs. Demonstrating positive value impacts for owners and occupants remains a priority.

Bonte added: “Technologies now exist to make net-zero energy feasible at scale. But the real estate ecosystem must continue collaborating across construction, policy, finance, and technology to make it accessible and attractive for owners globally.”

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