In many climatic regions, both in Europe and the US, it is possible to design and build homes that can be powered solely from a renewable resource. This paper will present the efforts taken in the US and Europe to aid home builders to quantify the performance of a building envelope and the levels of air-tightness that are required to achieve energy consumption goals that are 90% less than typical construction. As building codes evolve and energy efficient construction moves from the fringe to the mainstream, numerous computer simulating software packages have been developed to aid the designer in optimizing building performance. These packages serve the designer well. However, few inform a homeowner of the potential economic benefits of investing in a sustainable lifestyle, centered around a home that provides desired thermal comfort and monitored indoor air quality, all powered by a renewable resource. The first adopters of super insulated, airtight buildings, conditioned with small mechanical units have been eco-conscious architects and engineers. To reach a broader demographic the decision making process needs to be streamlined, the information delivered to potential homeowners needs to be condensed, and most importantly, delivered in a manner that an non-building professional can quantify. In most cases this will require expressing energy efficiency in terms of euros, pounds, and dollars of monthly expenditure, as opposed to kilowatt-hours per square ft, per year.
Mark Taylor, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Stream: Social Sustainability & Sustainable Living
This paper is part of the ECSEE2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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