NetZero Energy Home
Increase value! Reduce costs! Waste less! Net Zero and Near Passive House Case Study As Robert Hastings stated at…
Increase value! Reduce costs! Waste less!
As Robert Hastings stated at the 8th International Passive House Conference: ”Passive Houses should be optimised for minimum environmental impact and maximum enjoyment of life”.
“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait till oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” -Thomas Edison (1931)
The Petworth NetZero house in DC sold for $690,000 3 comparable houses in size and location sold for $549,000, $595,900, and $599,000 or an average of 16% more. With an added investment of 5% for the passive design and 5% for the renewable energy. That’s an additional 6% profit for the builder or investor.
That’s an environmentally friendly house that’s not consuming more than it’s using in the world. It’s a house that is comfortable and healthy to live in. It’s the future!
Net Zero Energy Buildings are revolutionizing the market. There are two main parts to it. Making a building extremely energy efficient and offsetting the energy consumed with onsite renewable energy. Here’s how we do it!
This involves planning and developing strategies for different climates, building sizes, use, and function. It also creates a market (jobs) open to innovation in engineering, architecture, and utility.
A Net Zero Energy Building is proof that it is possible to live within our means and use our resources wisely. It is really the best example of what it means to renew and sustain something.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that buildings are responsible for 48% of greenhouse gas emissions annually and 76% of all electricity generated by U.S. power plants goes to supply the Building Sector [Architecture2030].The first step is making the house extremely energy efficient. There is a model for this as a passive house. I generally suggest a near passive house which does not require the cost of certification and helps reduce the first costs of the project.
Performance Characteristics From passivehouse.us on a Passive House include:
In addition, the following are recommendations, varying with climate:
Generally, Passive House certification includes energy modeling, inspections oon-site, blower door test, and an energy audit. This excludes spending time with the developer and the GC and making sure they get it right. We have the technology and the means to build these houses without going through this process.
The key points above are modeled to find the sweet point between cost and function. This means hard costs can be increased by 5 to 7 percent with approximately a 90% reduction in energy costs.
This reduction comes from the added efficiency which is measured by the HERS system. For example:
The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the INDUSTRY STANDARD by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. It’s also the NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance.
Passive House will cost you certifications and it will be 4.75 kBTU/SF-yr heating (as a reference). A Near Passive house will be closer to 5-10 kBTU/SF-yr, or city row house and will have cost-benefit or cost-of-ownership optimized. It will be built with the same software, processes, and standards, just will ease up on the targets to optimize cost to function.
A near Passive house will not have gas fired heat. It’s better to go with all-electric. A smaller air condition system at a fraction of the cost; changing from a 3-ton system down to a 1 or ½ ton unit. A fresh air system with heat recovery. Lastly providing hot water via a solar hot water system with a free heat exchanger.
Passive houses sell for more than other houses. As a builder/ investor you can make up to 10% more profit selling a NetZero house. To do this you would add renewable energy like solar or wind. Which could be done through a Power Purchase Agreement.