Friday, May 4, 2007

Building America’s Zero Energy Homes

Zero Energy Home Prototype
A prototype of a Zero Energy Home using solar energy. Many such homes use more than one renewable energy technology. All employ passive solar design.

Let us revisit sustainable shelter with David Zaks and Jeff Christian. David interviewed1 Jeff for World Changing (January 30, 2007).

Jeff Christian directs the Buildings Technology Center at the Oak Ridge National Labs. Over the last four years he has conducted research on five prototype houses that cost between 60 cents and one dollar a day in energy costs to operate.

Jeff Christian works with Building America, a program that focuses on the building site, envelope, mechanical systems, and energy-use factors. Such homes optimize the following, energy efficiency and renewable energy features:

  • Climate-specific design
  • Passive solar heating and cooling
  • Natural day-lighting
  • Energy-efficient construction
  • Energy-efficient appliances and lighting
  • Solar thermal and solar electric systems.