In July 2012, Dr. Yong Tao, Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering at the University of North Texas (UNT) and member of the UNT Renewable Energy and Conservation research cluster, and Dr. Richard Nader, Vice Provost of International Affairs with UNT-International, shared ideas about the future of energy efficient housing as featured guests on a news program hosted by the China.net TV Channel in Beijing.
Tao and Nader discussed university objectives and motivations for the future of green building construction and the role of Sino-American cooperation in meeting these goals. Tao discussed the need for balance between comfort and efficiency in creating future sustainable housing, and said he envisaged homes where people could easily customize their comfort preferences by manipulating conditions such as indoor air quality, temperature, and drinking water, while maintaining efficient energy management standards. He cited the successful completion of green and sustainable buildings and the range of energy efficient materials, technology, and equipment used to make them, and he additionally emphasized the need for sensors and gauges to monitor the energy performance of buildings.
Tao said that the cost of making zero energy homes would be affordable with large scale production in place; manufacturing costs would be reduced with increased demand. He cited proper business planning and government policy support as being additional factors in offsetting cost. Both UNT representatives spoke to the role of the new, Zero Energy Research Laboratory at the University of North Texas as a model home and adaptable laboratory to showcase the latest innovations and research on renewable energy and sustainable development.
Nader and Tao foresee increased opportunities of collaboration and promotion between the United States and China regarding energy-efficient technology projects for the sake of future environmental protection and sustainability.