ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 63

solar NZEB projEct
of discomfort and poor energy performance in many buildings, as well as an additional capital and maintenance expense. Infiltration. We chose to “superseal” Equinox House because SIPs construction allows low infiltration levels to be reached in a relatively easy manner. Careful attention to design details will save plumbing, electrical and HVAC installation costs, as well as minimize regions where utility penetrations impact house infiltration. We provided detailed cost and performance information for our sealing efforts with a goal of achieving the Passive House infiltration level (0.6 ach at 50 Pa). The rationale behind the Passive House infiltration level is that building loads can be reduced to a level where fresh air ventilation flow can maintain comfort conditions. There is nothing fundamental to this limit, and more or less infiltration, depending on climatic conditions, may or may not impact costs significantly. Our performance analyses indicated that the labor and materials to superseal a house with our construction would have a payback of five years. How long the effects of our efforts will last are unknown and need to be examined. Foundation. Our February column discussed foundation energy analyses, which require computational models, as well as ground property information that typically is unknown. Ground properties have spatial and temporal variations. We performed three-dimensional transient analyses of our foundation with a range of ground property estimates and found that insulating our foundation wall without any insulation underneath our slab would be the most economical design. On average, our uninsulated slab stays within 1°C (1.8°F) to 2°C (3.6°F) of the 6 m (20 ft) tall ceiling. The superinsulated envelope of the house allows radiant communication among the walls, ceiling and floor to keep the interior relatively isothermal. Our seasonal ground analysis also indicated that the winter heating detriment of an uninsulated slab in our region was counterbalanced by a reduced summer cooling load. On average, our floor heat transfer was 400 W. We also showed a significant beneficial seasonal storage effect due to typical thermostat setpoint variations from summer to winter. From March through May, other factors impacting the comfort and conditioning of high performance homes were discussed. Our March column examined thermal mass, a topic that is often discussed in architectural circles without an understanding of what it is, and how to quantify it. We hope our discussion and data helps residential building designers have a better understanding that thermal mass is a combination of building envelope thermal resistance coupled with interior mass characteristics. Windows reduce thermal mass and, as described with data from a heavily windowed “passive solar” house constructed in the 1980s, thermal mass design should be based on engineering analyses. Physical mass does not necessarily make a building “massive.” The thermal time constant of Equinox House, without adding any additional mass is four times greater than that of an older, conventional home and the 1980s “passive solar” home. April’s column featured appliances and their significant impact on energy performance in superinsulated residences.
August 2011

The team during construction. Left to right are: Ben Newell, Alex Long, Mbikayi Nsumuna, and Ty Newell. Climatic impacts on annual energy become less significant than energy impacts due to humans and their activities in high performance homes. The energy use and interaction of appliances and other human activities can be either favorable or detriments to overall house energy requirements. The relatively new heat pump water heater technology, for example, provides significant cooling and dehumidification in addition to water heating. Continued advances in appliance technologies, such as ventless heat pump clothes dryers will reduce energy further. Overall, human behavior and habits will be the most important means for gaining high levels of performance. Perhaps the most important aspect of high performance dwellings is the maintenance of a healthy indoor environment, as discussed in our May 2011 column. As energy requirements for high performance homes decrease, continued energy efficiency gains may not be cost effective and a focus on healthy environments may result in more substantial cost benefits. Modern refrigerators are analogous to this situation. Three decades of refrigerator energy efficiency improvements have reduced refrigerator energy consumption to 300 to 400 kWh per year, with an annual operating cost of $30 to $40 per year. Rather than continuing to improve the energy efficiency of a refrigerator, it may be time to incentivize food quality and preservation efforts, resulting in less spoilage and food-borne illness. A refrigerator stores approximately $8,000 of refrigerated food for a family of four. 1 A refrigerator that reduces spoilage and waste by a small percentage may be more valuable than additional energy savings. Similarly, high performance homes that monitor and control indoor air quality may have more value than additional energy cost savings in terms of less illness and improved health and well-being. At the beginning of the series, we discussed the predicted performance of Equinox House relative to similar homes of conventional construction in our neighborhood. Our results inASHRAE Journal 63



ASHRAE Journal - August 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - August 2011

ASHRAE Journal - August 2011
Contents
Commentary
Industry News
Letters
Meetings and Shows
Feature Articles
2011–12 Presidential Address: Sustaining ASHRAE Through Leadership
Retrocommissioning Older Buildings
Liquid Refrigerant Pumping in Industrial Refrigeration Systems
Technology Award Case Studies:
Hospital Upgrade: Heat Recovery, Geothermal Save Energy
Cool Weather Savings: Using Hybrid Refrigeration Systems for Chiller Retrofit
Special Section
InfoCenter
Standing Columns
Solar NZEB Project
Emerging Technologies
Special Products
IAQ Applications
Washington Report
People
Products
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Intro
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - ASHRAE Journal - August 2011
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 2
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Commentary
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Industry News
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 8
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Letters
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 11
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 12
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 13
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 14
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 15
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Meetings and Shows
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 17
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 2011–12 Presidential Address: Sustaining ASHRAE Through Leadership
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 19
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 20
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 21
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 22
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 23
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 24
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 25
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Retrocommissioning Older Buildings
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 27
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 28
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 29
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 30
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 31
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 32
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 33
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 34
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 35
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Liquid Refrigerant Pumping in Industrial Refrigeration Systems
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 37
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 38
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 39
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 40
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 41
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 42
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 43
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Hospital Upgrade: Heat Recovery, Geothermal Save Energy
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 45
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 46
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 47
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Cool Weather Savings: Using Hybrid Refrigeration Systems for Chiller Retrofit
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 49
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 50
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 51
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - InfoCenter
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 53
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 54
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 55
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 56
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 57
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 58
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 59
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 60
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Solar NZEB Project
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 62
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 63
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 64
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 65
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Emerging Technologies
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 67
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 68
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 69
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 70
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 71
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 72
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 73
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 74
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Special Products
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - IAQ Applications
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 77
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 78
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 79
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Washington Report
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 81
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - People
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 83
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Products
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 85
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Classified Advertising
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - 87
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - August 2011 - Cover4
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