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Affordable Net Zero Energy Homes

Project Status: Research underway
Project Start: December, 2010
Project End: April, 2012
Research Objective
Recent Canadian demonstration projects by leading-edge builders have proven that Net Zero Energy (NZE) homes are technically feasible in our cold climate. But current building approaches are complex, custom, and expensive, adding $90-120K to the cost of a home.
To make NZE homes more accessible to Canadians, CanmetENERGY has begun the Affordable Net Zero Energy Homes Project to explore ways to reduce the cost.

The Project

The Affordable Net Zero Energy Homes project extends the Path to Net Zero initiative through an intensive evaluation and comparison of new and emerging approaches to the integration of renewable energy sources and energy conservation.

Incremental costs needed to achieve Net Zero, for 1st generation prototype housing, current 2nd generation practices, and the proposed target for this project

As the graph shows, the goal is to reduce the incremental costs associated with building Net Zero Energy homes to a level significantly lower than the $100-200K associated with the first Canadian prototype NZE homes, and the $90-120K associated with using second-generation practices.
Work Plan Overview
To do this, the Affordable Net Zero Energy Homes Project will follow a four-step work plan:

  1. Review best practices and define methodology. Review existing NZE housing practices, define the optimal market specifications to ensure archetypes and research results will be suitable for builder adoption, document existing and emerging technologies and practices, collect performance and costing data, and define the methodology and scope for technology assessment and optimization.
  2. Assess technology and optimize performance. Model, analyze, and optimize the most promising existing and emerging technologies.
  3. Affordable technology integration. Based on the results of the first two steps, develop strategies for building affordable NZE housing.
  4. Knowledge dissemination.

Based on the findings of steps 1-3, technology pathways to achieve high performance, affordable housing will be developed.
Two home archetypes suitable for market adoption will be developed and technically and financially optimized. Working drawings and simulation models of both the base case and optimized case will be made available.
Downloadable, detailed costing spreadsheets will also be available for designers, builders and researchers to input their own local costing information and inform decision making for their projects.
Visit this page again, to learn about Affordable Net Zero Energy Homes research results as they become available.


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