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Author Topic: Carbon Neutral Buildings  (Read 3921 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #75 on: July 03, 2018, 02:20:13 pm »
I will do a bit of shameless plugging for the company. Here is a testimonial to one of our showcase systems. There is nothing modest here to see but it is the reality of what is pushing solar forward. 3 panels on a cabin might be noble in its austerity but those systems do lights some water pumping and a bit of refrigeration at best. This one is a grid zero system which uses the grid when it needs a boost but does not feed back to it.  Enjoy


Nice system, and what a nice testimonial! What's the output?

And the house. Wow. I'll never own anything that nice, I don't expect.

Investment banker? Gold miner?



I wrote this and lost it, so this is the Cliffs Notes version.

I picked this installer because I know someone who works there. Turns out they are a local company but are 100% Sunpower. The Texas franchise, entire state. They do Whole Foods and UT. Lots of high end installs. Their panels are engineered differently than any panel I've ever seen. Design improvements according to them. They claim almost zero hail problems in this hail prone area, which is impressive.

100% Micro-inverters. He said they just bought Enphase and would be using Enphase inverters going forward.


Any feedback on Sunpower?

The deal is excellent. But they have to achieve a certain efficiency level to get me the city rebate. That means I can't immediately put panels on the east facing roof. Because it would lower the efficiency of the entire system.

I'd have to do 43 panels on the south and west faces to max them and get the rebate. That's a 13.8 Kw system and it should cut my grid bill by about half, according to their estimate, and he says they hit it pretty close. I still get the federal tax credit too. That's much more of a subsidy (30%).

I can also get a federal tax credit on adding the additional lower output east-facing panels, which I can add as soon as I collect the rebate on the first install. I haven't yet seen numbers on how much that would add to the output.

They have stellar financing (2.9% for 12 years), so I can buy the 13.8Kw system with the same dollars I'm using to buy power. That seems like a no brainer. I'll max the east roof too, I think. I want to see how much it adds to the bill.

Stellar warranty from Sunpower, which also warrants the install (roof leaks included). They use Invisimount racking. 25 year warranty  on everything, 92% efficiency guaranteed in 25 years.

And once again, the federal tax credit is going away. Not for a couple of years I think, but with the cost of borrowing almost guaranteed to go up too, it looks like a good time to make this happen
.
sounds good. Do a websearch on the reviews of the enphase model they are selecting. They had some duds. I'll admit I'm biased as I had to replace 23 of them out of 40 on a nice old ladies roof this spring. That was 3 years ago though I'm sure they are back on their game now. Split roof partial shade micros are the way to go...

Will do. Thanks for your advice. It is greatly appreciated.

Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

AGelbert

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Re: Carbon Neutral Buildings
« Reply #76 on: July 14, 2018, 05:50:53 pm »



THE REPORT

Designers vs. Climate Change

Leading architects, designers, and urban planners are devising plans to help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Are they our best hope for a brighter future?

Posted July 4, 2018

text by Meaghan O'Neill


SNIPPET:

For professionals like these, business as usual is simply outdated. In the U.S. today, buildings consume 39 percent of total energy used—higher than both the transportation (29 percent) and industrial (32 percent) sectors. But what if buildings—or even entire cities—could generate more energy than they used, clean the surrounding air and water, and even sequester carbon dioxide? The idea isn’t too far-fetched.

Technology to mitigate emissions already exists, is accessible, and can even be cost-effective. And small course corrections in our approach to the built environment could make a big a difference in emissions industry-wide. (Designing for resilience—that is, creating and protecting built environments that will withstand rising seas, more frequent and severe storms, and other effects of climate change—is also paramount.) According to Paul Hawken’s 2017 book Drawdown, if just 9.7 percent of new buildings were net-zero energy by 2050, global greenhouse gas emissions would be 7.1 gigatons lower. That’s equivalent to eliminating annual emissions from all livestock worldwide. Yet the biggest barrier to building greener buildings and cities may not be cost or political will, but simply inertia.

Top: A modern home by ZeroEnergy Design; Above: The interior of a barn renovated by ZeroEnergy Design. Photo: Eric Roth

“Designing a building to code is the worst possible building you could build,” says Horowitz. “We need to do better.” Considering fuel inputs, the entire lifecycle of a building and the future of the grid are essential factors, says Horowitz, a self-proclaimed “data literacy” advocate who joined the Architecture 2030 Challenge (a group with the goal to make all buildings and major renovations carbon-neutral by 2030) as a way to stay publicly accountable for all projects in her portfolio.

It’s also worth mentioning that building smaller, more efficient spaces would go a long way toward reducing our collective carbon footprint. In the 1950s, for example, the size of the average American home was about 1,700 square feet; today, it’s closer to 2,500 🐷 🐖.

Designing for Low Carbon Impact—and Human Beings

“Decisions we make as architects and engineers impact the land we build on for the next 100 years,” says Cara Carmichael, an engineer and environmental designer at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit organization that works to dissuade the use of fossil fuels. With the help of ZGF Architects, RMI recently built its 15,610-square-foot Innovation Center in Basalt, Colorado, to be a showcase of net-zero energy efficiency.


By using high-end windows and insulation, an airtight envelope, passive solar design, natural and efficient artificial lighting, automation and metering, natural ventilation, and photovoltaics, the building can produce more energy than it uses in a year. In cooler months, radiant heating delivers warm air where people need it most, instead of overheating low-use spaces (like ceilings and transitional areas). The result is a building that’s 74 percent more efficient than its average counterpart.

While advanced systems react to external weather and lighting conditions, people who occupy the building retain precise control over their micro-environments. Desk, ceiling, and even in-chair fans allow for personal adjustments. And while a sophisticated louver system creates shade as necessary—eliminating the need for air conditioning—individuals can open windows when they want fresh air. Because buildings like this champion low-tech methods (tight envelopes and LED lighting, for example) rather than high-tech mechanical systems, they can often be built at or near the same cost as a traditional building.

One key to success is the early integration of cross-disciplinary teams who can accurately predict how a building will perform over its lifecycle. “It’s not just a check-the-box thing,” says Carmichael, who collaborated with architects, engineers, land planners, solar and lighting experts, and contractors to crunch numbers from the get-go. “It’s a powerful tool to shape design.”

Net Zero, Passive House, and Living Buildings

Since the 1990s, various certifications, like the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, have emerged for healthier buildings with lower carbon impact. Now, Net Zero, Passive House, and Living Buildings labels are also helping designers create better spaces. Though specific criteria vary, they ultimately share several common goals: The design of built environments that use less fossil fuel energy, produce less pollution, and improve the well-being of people who use them.

Built in collaboration with the Miller Hull Partnership, the Bullitt Center in Seattle, a designated Living Building, is a net-positive energy building that uses photovoltaics to generate power. There’s no cooling system—windows automatically open and close—and it even employs six stories of composting toilets. In short, it operates like a natural system—always responding to its conditions.

Designer Jason McLennan explains Living Buildings in a TEDx talk.


To reduce their impacts significantly, such buildings implement these and other tools, including ground source heat pumps, smart thermostats, green roofs, and closed-loop water systems. While some features remain expensive to install, all are easy to acquire.

Several public and multi-unit Passive House projects are also pushing the efficiency envelope. In New York, the Perch Harlem, designed by architect Chris Benedict, consumes 90 percent less energy than a standard building and 75 percent less than similar new construction. “Making these projects happen—and quickly—at scale is really exciting,” says Horowitz, who has also worked on several multi-unit spaces. Elsewhere, entire communities are working toward net-zero energy goals. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, for example, plans are underway for all new buildings to be net-zero by 2040.

FULL ARTICLE:

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/designers-architects-take-on-climate-change


Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

 

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