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Zero-Net Energy Buildings Are Game Changers in Green Engineering

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tony woicekowski
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Iron
Chipping away at zero net energy
tony woicekowski   8/11/2014 10:17:16 PM
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It's safe to say that the housing stock is and will always be diverse. Between local climate, building use, age & construction type, local codes, fuel choices, utility tariffs, designer/contractor preferences, building orientation, etc., there can never be consensus on a "best" approach with respect to energy.  That said, I've been involved in some residential zero net energy projects that can be readily applied today as a retrofit in a significant number of existing homes, and a very high percentage of new construction - in many cases with little to no added cost, and net zero annual operation cost with roughly 3-5 kW of PV in most cases, in virtually all climates.  I inviate anyone interested to contact me.  I will glady provide a log in so that one may examine the data we have to date.  So far, most in the HVAC industries choose to ignore the data and stay with the existing business model - combustibles and ducted air.  

AnandY
User Rank
Gold
RE: Green Materials.
AnandY   6/28/2014 6:00:53 AM
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Engineers and architects should consider using green materials when building buildings, proper research should be done on what are the advantages of using green materials to build buildings. The research should be detailed in that it should be able to clearly spell out areas that can be able to sustain buildings built using green materials. Green is the best way to go in order to save on money that is used in other forms of energy.

Steward Hudson
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Blogger
Re: Say What???
Steward Hudson   6/27/2014 3:07:52 PM
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It's not a complaint but a discussion on energy conservation and its importance in construction practices – be it choice of material or infrastructure.  Efficient use of energy in construction or ZNE buildings is still evolving; there are a lot of areas that are still untapped. So yes, I do agree with you, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done.

Cabe Atwell
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Blogger
Re: Good idea, but many challenges
Cabe Atwell   6/27/2014 3:13:21 AM
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Zero-net is indeed the future. Even if the savings are just cents a day... multiply that by the countless structures in the world. The energy savings would be astounding...

 

Steward Hudson
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Blogger
Re: Good idea, but many challenges
Steward Hudson   6/26/2014 3:00:51 PM
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To clarify, by using sensors I mean using the present ones and developing new ones that should be used in integrated systems with the same kind of controls to measure and evaluate all the energy that is used in a building.

Thanks for sharing such an informative link. Yes, the advancement in technology has made treated water safe for use. It may only be a step behind from drinkable water, but engineers can use this as an integrated part of the process of generating renewable energy that is then used to develop green architecture buildings.

William K.
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Platinum
Say What???
William K.   6/26/2014 9:19:00 AM
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I found it a bit confusing at several laces in the posting. Was the complaint about construction practices, the choices of materials, or the efficiency and energy consumption of the building's systems after it was in use?

Certainly all three areas should be considered, but at that point, for all three areas, a bit of research is needed to avoid to avoid decisions made based on emotions alone.

Daniyal_Ali
User Rank
Iron
Green Materials
Daniyal_Ali   6/25/2014 2:20:37 PM
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The building material your engineers choose is very important. Most of the material claimed to be green is not necessarily processed that way. Proper research should be done and only purely green material should be used in the construction. The material we choose will affect the environment as well as the lifestyle of the people living in it. The firms like Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Energy Star certifications can help the engineers choose the material more wisely.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Good idea, but many challenges
naperlou   6/25/2014 12:05:09 PM
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Steward, our construction of buildings, especially homes, does not advance very much.  We need to look at the whole thing, as you mention.  On the other hand, I am nott sure of what you mean by "...environmentally friendly ways to develop sensors and to measure and control the energy..."  Sensors are not a major user of energy today.

As for waste water, that is a regulatory issue, not a technical one.  I got a tour of a local wastewater treatment plant a few years ago.  My son was going to do science fair project on water purification and we knew the guy who ran the plant.  We went through all the steps and then went to their lab.  The water is one step from drinking quality.  They are prohibited from using it that way, but some does go to a local golf course for watering purposes.  The rest goes into a local river and is very good water.  The Wall Street Journal just had an article about this (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390444270404577607333668861496).  We could be reusing water safely, but we do not by statute.  These problems are solvable.

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