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Zero Emission Buildings in Korea
Thorsten Schuetze 1 , Petra Hagen Hodgson 2

1  Sungkyunkwan University, Department of Architecture
2  ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Department Life Sciences und Facility Management

Published: 31 October 2014 by MDPI AG in The 4th World Sustainability Forum in The 4th World Sustainability Forum
MDPI AG, 10.3390/wsf-4-f001
Abstract: This paper discusses the history, the status quo, and future prospects of Zero Emission Buildings (ZEBs) in the Republic of Korea, illustrated by good practice examples. The advantages of, and requirements for, ZEBs are described, concerning the sectors energy, water, nutrients and biomass. ZEBs are characterized by net zero energy consumption through minimization of the service energy demand, which is covered with locally produced renewable energy. The direct water footprint is reduced up to 100% through on-site water supply and wastewater management according to the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management and Sustainable Sanitation. The fresh water demand is reduced through application of water efficient systems, as well as the collection, processing, recycling and reuse of wastewater for non-drinking purposes. Rainwater harvesting, storage, utilization and infiltration for augmentation of groundwater facilitates onsite freshwater supply and drinking water production from rainwater and groundwater. Nutrients and biomass from kitchens and sanitation systems are processed on-site and are recycled for local horticulture and agriculture. Traditional Korean buildings can be generally defined as ZEBs. With modernization and implementation of state of the art centralized infrastructure systems in the 20th century also traditional know-how and practice regarding the sustainable operation of buildings and resource management has been forgotten. However, since the beginning of the 21st Korean citizens, policymakers, scientists and companies have a growing interest in sustainability issues. This much promising trend is also reflected by a growing number of research and development activities, including the construction and operation of ZEBs.

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