Practical path to net-zero homes
MetadataShow full item record
As demand for energy is skyrocketing around the globe, environmental challenges are becoming more severe than ever before. Carbon dioxide, methane gas and other greenhouse gases are rapidly contributing to global warming and ozone depletion phenomenon. Buildings are among major contributors of greenhouse gases. They are consuming more than 40% of total energy and three quarter of the total electricity in the United States. It is to some distance the responsibility of building design professionals to address the impacts of their practice on the environment by reducing the energy consumption and carbon emission of their projects. This thesis aims to create a practical design guideline to help architects design energy-neutral homes in North America. The study's primary emphasis is on reducing building energy demand by implementing core principles of building physics into the design process throughout a case study project. What makes this process unique compared to other existing green design programs is its focus on architect's knowledge to implement core energy saving design strategies into design and evaluate their performance with a normative simulation tool. Selection and analysis of building systems, financial evaluation of cost effective systems and materials, uncertainty analysis of building systems, construction cost estimating and marketing analysis of the case study project, demonstrate simple strategies for designers to use in projects with higher sensitivity. In conclusion, the idea behind this methodology is building marketable energy-neutral homes in the current market with existing materials and none-complex technologies. The success of this design method is depends on the knowledge and skills of architects in building science, architectural design, and building construction. Despite barriers and many uncertainties embedded in this process, moving toward energy-neutral homes will have positive impacts on environment even if it could not reach the Net-Zero balance.