Design is a key element in Zero Energy Building (ZEB); it’s one of the few elements that have a huge impact on the comfort and energy efficiency of homes, offices and other buildings without increasing costs. Hence the importance of informed and trained architects and designers.
The basics of ZEB design involve the shape of the building, its layout and solar orientation, the size of the windows on the different sides of the building, comprehensive thermal insulation all over the envelope of the building, proper sized overhangs, and so on.
They are the opposite of Stupid Building Construction.
But there are details and features in the ZEB design that require training and knowledge, and the use of specific tools and energy analysis software.
Integrated design – in which all the elements of the building interact, and are important for the excellence of the final results - is critical and involves specif know-how and energy analysis tools - even if the architects and the projects do not comply with specific standards such as those of Passive Solar Houses.
Energy building tools for architects
Sites with information about ZEB design issues:
Build Up – Europe's portal on energy reduction in buildings.
MaTrID – project supporting the use of Integrated Design approaches and tools in the ZEB building design phase.
SouthZEB – Training and Certification for NZEB designers.
DIRECTION - project that aims at demonstrating how the use of very innovative and cost-effective energy efficiency technologies in new buildings.
Construction21: a multi-stakeholder collaborative platform dedicated to all professionals active in the sustainable building sector.
EA SHC Task 40 – a project aiming to document and propose practical nZEB demonstration projects, with architectural quality.
Building design and construction – Zero energy schools in the US
SOM P.S.62 Net Zero Energy School – Sustainable Design
Alliance to save energy: Power Save Campus Program, California
ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides for K-12 Schools: Guides available for free download; tools for designers and contractors.
Zero Net Energy Residential
Energy Design Resources
2013 Integrated Energy Policy
Savings by Design
New Buildings Institute
California Advanced Homes
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