ZEH

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Building a Low-Cost Zero-Energy Home

Follow these guidelines to keep costs as low as possible

Posted on Oct 6 2017 by Martin Holladay
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Let’s say that your goal is to build a simple net-zero-energy home for your family. You insist that the home be energy-efficient, and you plan to include 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. (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.) array that is large enough to balance your annual energy needs.

Your main stumbling block is that your budget is very tight. Is your goal attainable?

Perhaps. Many builders have managed to complete a net-zero home that costs only a little bit more than a conventional house. If you want to take a similar approach, consider the following principles.


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Image Credits:

  1. Fine Homebuilding

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To Net Zero and Beyond

Where are we, really, with zero-energy homes in the U.S. and Canada?

Posted on Aug 15 2017 by Anonymous

By SHILPA SANKARAN

Last month, we at the Net-Zero Energy Coalition (NZEC) published our second annual inventory of zero energy (ZE) residential buildings in the U.S. and Canada, titled “To Zero and Beyond: 2016 Residential Zero Energy Buildings Study.”

Prior to our first inventory report, existing data on residential zero energy was spotty. We believed it was crucial for us to quantify the current state and track progress in order to truly understand the reality of the zero energy movement.


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Image Credits:

  1. Joe Wolf / CC BY-ND 2.0 / Flickr

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A Net-Zero Community in Texas

With 7,500 residential units, Whisper Valley will be the largest net-zero energy community in the country

Posted on Jul 18 2017 by lsichelman

By LEW SICHELMAN

Richard Bruce is looking forward to moving into his new Austin, Texas, home with his wife by year's end. When construction is complete, the 1,700-square-foot abode will have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, plus lightning-fast Google Fiber internet service. But here are the real selling points: the geothermal heating and cooling system and 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. (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.) panels which will ensure the new house produces as much energy as the couple consume.


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Image Credits:

  1. Pacesetter Homes / Realtor.com

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Boulder Commons Sets New Standard for Net-Zero Leases

The project led to a first-of-its-kind lease structure that makes sense for both tenants and landlords

Posted on May 8 2017 by Kelly Vaughn

Just two miles from downtown Boulder, Colorado, a new 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. (NZE) development is under construction: Boulder Commons. The project consists of two commercial buildings totaling roughly 100,000 square feet of professional office space and boasting a restaurant, coffee shop, and community gathering flex space — all accessible by Boulder’s vast trail and public transportation network.


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Image Credits:

  1. Boulder Commons

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Revisiting Net Zero Energy

Is the net-zero bar too high or too low?

Posted on Apr 28 2017 by Martin Holladay
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An 6-kW 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. (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.) system can be installed for about $18,000 in many U.S. locations. With a 30% federal tax credit, the system costs the homeowner only $12,600 — or even less if utility or state rebates are available.

This 6-kW system will produce about 8,000 kWh per year in Boston (worth about $1,600) or 10,300 kWh per year in Phoenix (worth about $1,230). That’s a lot of electricity.


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Image Credits:

  1. Martin Holladay

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Zero-Energy Construction is ‘Set to Explode’

Ann Edminster’s keynote address at the Better Buildings By Design conference

Posted on Feb 24 2017 by Martin Holladay
prime

California regulators have established an ambitious policy goal: Beginning in 2020, all new homes in the state must be designed for net-zero-energy operation. (GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com has published at least four news stories on California's net-zero target: here, here, here, and here.)


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Image Credits:

  1. Ann Edminster

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From Theory to Reality: Building a Net-Zero Home

Our journey toward sustainability

Posted on Dec 20 2016 by Thomas Lambert

Can you really build a net-zero-energy house based on information learned from an online course? The short answer is yes, and we have CreekSide Net ZeroProducing 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. Calculating net-zero energy can be difficult, particularly in grid-tied renewable energy systems, because of transmission losses in power lines and other considerations. to prove it.

My wife and I are often asked two questions: Why did we build a net zero energy house? How did we know how to build it?

The "why" is really an evolution of our values — of “walking the talk.” We have always been eco-minded and dreamed of doing something with alternative energy to reduce our carbon footprintAmount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that a person, community, industry, or other entity contributes to the atmosphere through energy use, transportation, and other means. .


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Image Credits:

  1. Tom Lambert

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Best Path to Net-Zero Energy

An owner-builder looks for the most cost-effective way to build a net-zero house in Washington State

Posted on Dec 5 2016 by Scott Gibson

Joshua Greisen thinks he's found an ideal building lot in Yakima, Washington, a city in the south-central part of the state in Climate Zone 5B. Now, can he find a design for a zero-net-energy house to go with it?

Working with a limited budget, but on a south-facing lot ideal for passive solar gain, Greisen is looking for a cost-effective way of reaching his goal. "I'm by no means a rich man," he writes in a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor, "and can only afford to do what has a return on investment that will be realized within a decade or so."


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Image Credits:

  1. Illustration: Joshua Greisen

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Banish ‘Payback’

Call the money you spend an ‘investment’ rather than ‘costs that must be recovered’

Posted on Oct 13 2016 by Bruce Sullivan

Every conversation about zero-energy homes (ZEHs) eventually comes around to the question of “cost.” The negative connotation of added cost and, even worse, “payback,” always puts ZEH advocates at a disadvantage. For years, I’ve encouraged advocates to call energy expenditures investments rather than “costs that must be recovered.” So, let’s banish the entire idea of “payback” and “payback period.”


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Image Credits:

  1. Bruce Sullivan

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Major U.S. Builder Tests Net-Zero Market

Pulte, the third biggest home builder in the country, joins a California demonstration project

Posted on Apr 7 2016 by Scott Gibson

One of the country’s biggest residential developers is dipping its toes into the high-performance housing market with a prototype net-zero-energy house in California.


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Image Credits:

  1. PulteGroup Inc.

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