Let’s face it, some zero-energy buildings are just ugly science projects. Anyone can bolt on enough heat pumps, PV modules, windmills and solar water heaters to power the most lavish consumption. With enough money, complexity and lack of common sense anyone can reach net-zero, at least in a computer model. But you live in the real world, and you need practical, affordable (and good looking!) building solutions.
Want to build net-zero?
Let’s start with some basics:
Net-zero buildings use renewable energy on-site to generate at least as much energy as they consume on an annual basis, including all heating, cooling, hot water, ventilation, lighting, appliances and plug loads combined.
1 – Design your envelope to exceed R-2000, and ensure all your electrical draws for mechanicals, lighting, appliances and plug loads are as small as possible.
2 – The more energy you use, the more expensive your on-site generation system will be. If you build to R-2000, you’ll need to generate more renewable energy than if you build to Passive House. Finding the right thermal envelope “sweet spot” is critical. Consider using climate specific design as your energy target.
3 – Every home’s construction, occupancy and microclimate are different, and the ideal economic balance point between energy efficiency and energy generation is different as well. Finding that right balance point saves you money. It may not be where you think it is.
4 – Once you’ve cut your energy use by 50% to 75%, your utility bills are now actually quite reasonable, maybe less than your cell phone bill. Does it really make sense to generate your own power now? If so, continue…
5 – Energy modeling is a simulation of reality, and every computer program will give a different result. Weather variations and occupant loads can have significant impacts. What if your reality doesn’t match the modeling? Can you adapt?
All zero energy homes have power monitors, and tracking energy use after completion is your final proof of success.
Constructing your zero-energy buildings cost-effectively is key, and Homesol has the energy design consulting expertise to guide you to the right solutions that can often earn you positive cash flow on your investment.Common sense energy design advice comes from experience as well as technical expertise.
We believe that in the fight to stop climate change, zero-energy buildings will become the global standard for all new construction within the next generation, and each affordable, beautiful example we build today will serve as a catalyst for explosive, exponential change in the building industry tomorrow as zero becomes the new normal. There’s really nothing holding the market back, we have the technology, nothing new needs to be discovered, and it results in a better-built, comfortable, resilient and durable home that’s costs less to own and will never be obsolete. Seems like a winning formula…
How Homesol Can Help
Are you with us? Let’s work together. Using complex energy modeling and simple common sense, Homesol will help you to design and build amazing autonomous homes for the next seven generations that won’t cost the Earth.
Let’s run some numbers together, you’ll be amazed at the possibilities. Give Homesol a call today.
Net Zero Energy Building Certification
Homesol recommends all our successful zero-energy home builders consider Net-Zero Energy Homes Certification from the Canadian Home Builders Association. Homesol is a Licensed Service Organization for Net-Zero Energy and Net-Zero Ready Homes.
Celebrate your success!