What is a Zero Energy home?
A Zero Energy home is a high performance home built so energy efficient, all or most annual consumption can be offset with renewable energy. While this type of technology has been around for awhile now, it’s beginning to take North America by storm. In many ways, a Zero Energy home can be considered the home of the future!
Three points of a successful Zero Energy home:
- Energy conservation
- Passive solar design
- Renewable energy design
Energy Conservation: The walls, ceiling, and windows of the home must be very energy efficient. Essentially, you need a very air tight building envelope. Everything must be well sealed to prevent energy loss. A zero energy home must be far more air tight than a conventionally home built to today’s BC Building Code. Energy efficient heating systems and high efficiency hot water heaters are a must. Overall, a zero energy home uses as little electricity as possible.
Passive Solar Design: The way the home is designed and situated on the land is important. It should face south and have high performance windows. The goal of a zero energy home is to harvest and keep as much free energy as possible.
Renewable Energy Design: While a zero energy home takes advantage of as much free energy as possible, it does need to produce some energy too. By using solar panels a zero energy home can create energy too. Solar panels are becoming more economical.
We are a founding member of the CHBA Net Zero Housing Council!
We believe Zero Energy Homes will be come increasingly popular in the coming years, especially with the rising costs of energy. While many builders promote the technology used in zero energy homes, few really understand the building science. To successfully build a zero energy home, a builder must be educated in building a house as a system.
We have experience in building zero energy and look forward to building more in the near future!