Achieving Net Zero Energy
EcoBuilders has created a model on how to achieve net zero energy in Tidewater Virginia. In 2013-2014, EcoBuilders remodeled a garage apartment, adding a second story and a stairwell to the original structure with the goal of achieving net zero energy. This means that it produces enough solar electric energy on sunny days to offset any energy needed on cloudy days and at night.
How to achieve this?
- Drastically reduce energy and water use
- Superior air sealing to make the home more comfortable with less heating and air conditioning
- Durable materials that have a longer, more cost effective life span, aiming to reduce construction waste in the next fifty years
- Improved indoor air quality achieved by preventing mold in the crawlspace, by leaving outdoor shoes by the front door, & by choosing interior finishes that have no VOCs
- Using environmentally preferable building materials to reduce the negative environmental impact of the renovations
- 29 Solar PV panels creating 7.5 KwH
In March 2016 this renovated garage apartment received the Emerald Certification, the highest rating given by the National Green Building Standard.