Buildings are responsible for a significant proportion of the total energy and carbon emissions worldwide and as such the building sector can be integral to the implementation of sustainable development strategies. One of those strategies is encouraging the construction of net-zero energy buildings and residential houses. Data was gathered from attendees of the 2017 Expo for Design, Innovation, and Technology in Toronto, Canada who visited a demonstration net-zero energy home at the Expo, and subjected to multivariate correlation and regression in order to provide some insight on the relative influence of certain barriers to the adoption of the net-zero housing technology. Our results suggest that cost, knowledge, and social compatibility barriers that might limit the diffusion of this housing innovation can be overcome if consumers are provided the opportunity to experience the construction and design quality of a net-zero house. However, addressing knowledge barriers remains important in reducing sensitivities to the extra investment cost of a net-zero house when compared with conventional housing. The findings of this study present implications for the housing industry in developing sustainable housing.
Philip Walsh, Ryerson University, Canada