net zero energy

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R-Value Advice from Building Science Corporation

Are the recommendations from a paper published in 2010 still valid?

Posted on Jun 30 2017 by Martin Holladay
prime

To reduce energy use, green builders often install above-code levels of insulation. Thick insulation is expensive, however, so it’s sometimes hard to know how much insulation is optimal.

To help guide builders wrestling with R-valueMeasure of resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the lower the heat loss. The inverse of U-factor. questions, I wrote an article in May 2016 (“How Much Insulation Is Too Much?”) reporting on R-value recommendations from three energy experts: David White, Marc Rosenbaum, and Rachel Wagner.


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Image Credits:

  1. Alex Wilson

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Operating at Net-Zero Energy

Net-zero strategies for new houses are well established, but retrofitting an existing house is another story

Posted on Nov 22 2016 by Paul Eldrenkamp and Rachel White

A few months ago we completed a deep energy retrofit of a house that we hope will be net-zero energyProducing as much energy on an annual basis as one consumes on site, usually with renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics or small-scale wind turbines. — in other words, that we hope will produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. If we succeed, this will be our first net-zero project.

There are two key strategies for designing a net-zero-ready home: you minimize the amount of energy the house needs to operate; and you maximize the amount of energy that the house can produce onsite, usually with a photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. system (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.). In short, you create an energy budget that balances consumption with production.


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Image Credits:

  1. Byggmeister

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Texas Team Wins Net Zero Competition

Architecture students design an affordable house for a Houston neighborhood and walk off with the top award

Posted on May 2 2016 by Scott Gibson

A group of architecture students from Prairie View A&M University has won top honors in this year's Department of Energy Race to Zero student competition with an affordable home designed for a Houston, Texas, neighborhood.


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Image Credits:

  1. Prairie View A&M University

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Marc Rosenbaum Will Again Offer His Online Course

The course on designing zero-net-energy homes will begin on March 14, 2016

Posted on Mar 2 2016 by GBA Team

Once again, energy expert and engineer Marc Rosenbaum is preparing to teach a 10-week online course on how to design and build zero-net-energy homes. The course will begin on March 14, 2016.


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The Department of Energy Chooses a Definition for Net Zero

They also have a preferred name for buildings that produce as much energy as they use

Posted on Sep 30 2015 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
prime

A few weeks ago, I wrote about whether homes that produce as much energy as they use should be called net zero energy or zero net energy homes. Several readers offered up another choice: zero energy homes.


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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: Energy Vanguard
  2. Images #2 and #3: U.S. Dept. of Energy

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Marc Rosenbaum Will Again Offer His Online Course

The course on designing zero-net-energy homes will begin on March 9, 2015

Posted on Feb 17 2015 by GBA Team

Once again, energy expert and engineer Marc Rosenbaum is preparing to teach a 10-week online course on how to design and build zero-net-energy homes. The course will begin on March 9, 2015.


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It’s Alive! – Visiting a Certified Living Building

In Hawaii, I visited a school with an energy lab that met the Living Building Challenge

Posted on Oct 30 2014 by Carl Seville

On vacation in Hawaii recently (yes, life is really tough for us consultants), I had the opportunity to visit the Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Energy Lab, the first classroom and the third building certified under the Living Building Challenge Program.


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Image Credits:

  1. All photos: Carl Seville

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Minisplit Heat Pumps and Zero-Net-Energy Homes

What we know, what we wish we knew, and an invitation to readers to ask more questions

Posted on Jan 9 2014 by Marc Rosenbaum

For the last several years, just about every project I’ve worked on other than large university buildings has used minisplit heat pumps for heating and cooling. Why?

1 – There is no combustion and no need for a chimney or vent.

2 – In space conditioning applications, heat pumps can provide heating and cooling.

3 – The equipment installation costs and the operating costs compare favorably with other options.

4 – Heat pumps are a natural partner to solar electric systems to achieve zero-net-energy buildings.


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Image Credits:

  1. Marc Rosenbaum

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Is NIST Serious About Net-Zero-Energy Homes?

Their report cites the need for a scoring system, but inexplicably fails to mention the HERS Index

Posted on Jun 19 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) still handles a lot of our basic numbers work, keeping lasers, hunks of metal, and atomic clocks that determine our standards of length, mass, and time. But it turns out they also have an interest in net-zero-energy (NZE) homes.

They’ve built and outfitted an amazing NZE research facility, and they also have convened meetings of experts to develop guidelines for NZE homes. But there’s something about their latest report I just don’t understand.


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Image Credits:

  1. National Institute of Standards and Technology
  2. RESNET

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Net-Zero Gets a Boost in Canada

A $4 million grant will subsidize the construction of 25 net-zero energy homes, while a second grant will fund research into new net-zero technologies

Posted on May 6 2013 by Scott Gibson

A newly announced $4 million grant will subsidize the construction of at least 25 net-zero energyProducing as much energy on an annual basis as one consumes on site, usually with renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics or small-scale wind turbines. homes (NZEHs) in four Canadian provinces. The initiative is being funded by the Canadian government's ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII), homebuilders, and building materials manufacturers, including Owens Corning Canada.


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Image Credits:

  1. U.S. Dept. of Energy Buildings Database

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