A Zero-Energy Consumption home uses its own energy, independent of other energy sources. The home’s look and feel can be as modern or traditional you desire. Learn what the experts consider in making it happen and follow a case study at Clemson University.
This video takes a deeper dive into the technology, building methodology and innovative materials employed through The Clemson case study. It explains how Clemson University students, faculty and local business leaders are working together to build the first NetZero Energy Home in the Southeast.
Ulrike: The NetZero energy home is a home that produces its own energy which means we don't have any energy consumption throughout the year. It doesn't necessarily mean that you're independent of the grids. You're actually feeding the grid with that and buying it back from the energy provider, but the idea actually is actually to be independent of any other energy sources.
The NetZero energy home has three specific goals for us. It should be climate specific. It should be compact, and it should be designed according to passive design strategies. The concept behind climate specific design is to design in a different way in the southeast than in the northeast. So we're taking advantage of the sun in a different way than we can do it in the north if we can take advantage of the temperature in a way that we can do in the west, for example.
While doing that, we apply passive strategies and those are for us natural ventilation, natural lighting. We would bundle functions like the kitchen, the bathrooms, everything that has warming, for example, we would block off the summer sun on the south side of a building and we would put it inside the house to pre-warm the house throughout the winter.
Bob: The envelope of the home needs to be tight. Obviously, it needs to be well insulated. Insulation, lumber, sheeting, parity, autoclave concrete which we get from Carolina AAC, then we move on to using passive technology.
Tripp: The design principles that we've developed doesn't hinder the exterior shape of the house. You can design it to be as modern as you want or as traditional as you want. That's how the building functions together.
Ulrike: The building of a NetZero energy home is not more expensive than building an ordinary home. We practically achieve that by designing compact. The only add-on costs are the solar panels on the roof in the end.
Bob: GBS got involved along with Clemson and Carolina AAC, our concrete supplier, as a sponsor in order to develop some technology and some building methodology around building NetZero homes. Georgia-Pacific products are used in the roofing materials and the floor joists, engineered lumber, and a lot of the sheeting.
Tripp: This project is so exciting because it takes from some of the traditional methods and builds on there. Here we're developing innovative materials and processes that we think will impact industry moving to a sustainable future.