Zero Energy Balance Buildings: Definitions, Current Challenges and Future Opportunities



Zero Energy Campus – ZEC, Zero Energy Communities, Energy efficiency, Zero Energy Building


This article reviews the definitions related to buildings that promote zero energy balance. Besides, this article identifies the main challenges for the dissemination of and overcrowding of these sustainable buildings, which are called Zero Energy Buildings -ZEB. The analyzed literature shows that the main challenges are to include technical, economic, social, and environmental aspects of each territory in the scenarios and proposed incentives since the roadmaps adopted by the countries will depend on their industrial development. In emerging countries, the roadmap development process should be needs-based, not solution-based. This article proposes, as opportunities to disseminate and spread the ZEB in the territories, to contemplate a type of regulatory scenarios that promote the development of passive designs that promote the construction of new buildings based on promoting the use of bioclimatic and advances in new materials that improve comfort according to the needs of each region. On the other hand, the design of direct and indirect incentives focused on research and innovation of own developments related to active designs for the renovation of existing buildings is proposed.


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Author Biographies

Santiago Osorio Ruiz, National University of Colombia-Manizales Headquarters.

Electrical Engineer from the National University of Colombia, and a Master's degree student in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Colombia-Manizales Headquarters. His areas of interest are alternative energy, green buildings and sustainable architecture.

Sandra Ximena Carvajal Quintero, Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Manizales

Electrical Engineer, Master and PhD in Engineering from the National University of Colombia. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering of the National University of Colombia, Manizales campus. Her areas of interest include smart electric power grids, electric power markets and Distributed Generation.

Juan David Marín Jiménez, Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Manizales

Electrical Engineer, Master and PhD in | Engineering from the National University of Colombia. He is currently the manager of the GAMACO company. His areas of interest include smart electric power grids, electric power markets and Distributed Generation.


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How to Cite

Osorio Ruiz, S., Carvajal Quintero, S. X., & Marín Jiménez, J. D. (2021). Zero Energy Balance Buildings: Definitions, Current Challenges and Future Opportunities. IEEE Latin America Transactions, 20(3), 417–429. Retrieved from