Japan’s first zero energy apartment building coming in 2019


Developer Sekisui House is planning Japan’s first net-zero energy condominium-type apartment building in Nagoya City. Construction is scheduled to start in mid-2017 with completion by early 2019.

The 3-storey building will contain 12 apartments. Solar panels on the rooftop will be capable of producing up to 4kW per apartment, or up to 50kW for the building. Each apartment will have its own Ene-farm fuel cell which comes with a remote control display screen so that residents can monitor electricity usage and emissions. Both the solar panels and fuel cells can provide back-up power in the event of a power outage. Insulation is also a priority with argon gas double-glazed windows.

In recent years, Japanese home builders have been introducing zero energy houses to their offerings. The Japanese government is also actively promoting energy-efficient homes, with the goal of having the majority of new homes built in 2020 to be net-zero energy.

In 2013 Sekisui House introduced their ‘Green First Zero’ homes which include solar panels, Ene-farm fuel cells, insulation, LED lighting and low-energy air-conditioning and ventilation. Over 70% of the new homes built by Sekisui are already net-zero energy.

While it is easy to design a net-zero energy house, the process can be more difficult for apartment buildings. Available rooftop space is smaller for each apartment, which means less solar panels per residence.

Source: Sekisui House News Release, December 2, 2016.

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