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Zero is simply a number, an absolute; yet it is neither positive nor negative. A Zero Energy Home is currently a goal and ever present in the media, but not yet accomplished at the level of our technical potential. We will explore the various definitions of Zero Energy and understand the implications of the term within several contexts: bioregional, local, and site constrained. The various energy loads being counted towards the absolute of Zero will be explained, as well as the design opportunities to reduce them. The occupant’s behavior and habits in the home are critical to the successful energy outcome, and feedback opportunities and data from case studies will be presented and examined. Metrics of consumption, peak load, and annual use will be presented and compared. The principles of orientation, thermal envelope, renewable energy systems that produce (positive), as well as mechanical, electrical and ventilation systems that consume (negative) will be explained and investigated for both case studies and theoretical projects for exploration.
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