Effective Strategies for High Performance Buildings (HPB) and Net Zero Buildings (NZB)
Most Significant Energy Improvement Opportunities are found in the following 5 Common Measures.
1 . Additional Insulation – Most buildings have been insulated to low standards set out in yesterday’s building codes. NZB are built very well sealed with R 31 or more insulation value in the envelop and triple glazed windows. Insulating blinds used in appropriate locations are very energy efficient and economical too.
2. Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs) – Well-sealed buildings require fresh air to be added to maintain healthy indoor air quality. HRVs efficiently replace stale air with fresh air by retaining up to 65% of the heating or air conditioning energy used to condition the building's exhaust air with heat exchangers (or other exhaust air energy recovery equipment). In cold climates Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) recover energy and humidity from the exhaust air in the winter (same heat transfer technology as HRVs but these use water vapour porous heat exchange plates to recover humidity along with the energy). Humidity recovery in cold climates is an important energy recovery feature.
3. Drain Water Energy Recovery (DWER) – About 25% of most house's operating energy is consumed heating domestic water. About 60% of that energy can be recovered with a DWER pipe. These are also important in commercial buildings (especially those with high domestic hot water usages like restaurants).
4. Heat Pumps - In Canadian and Northern US Climates heat pumps lower a building’s annual heating energy consumption by 50%. Heating loads are generally 75% or more of a building's energy load.
5. Solar Panels - Typically when the above measures are applied, photo voltaic solar panels located on the building will generate enough power to make a building Net Zero. On single and two story buildings, the roof areas are typically adequate for the building's annual energy requirements. Taller buildings may require that some walls have solar panels.
Net Zero Energy Building Planning - Net Zero Energy means the building produces as much energy as it uses in a year. Most buildings can be economically modified to be a Net Zero (energy) Building (NZB). We can create a plan to move your building (house or larger building) economically to Net Zero by identifying when the above components (and others) in your building or house can be economically replaced with newer more sustainable equipment. Mostly this happens after the older technology equipment requires replacement (like when your single or double glazed windows have reached their end of life and can be replaced with new triple glazed windows) or it can be immediately (eg. Drain Water Energy Recovery equipment). We identify the economical replacement equipment or components and provide a plan for you to incrementally move your building to a Net Zero Energy requirement powered by renewable energy.