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Our last post covered what “Net Zero” means and whether a Net Zero house is on- or off-the-grid. So why is Net Zero such a good idea? And what does it take to achieve it?
First step, a Net Zero house should be intelligently oriented within its surroundings: the house can be situated in the lee of a harsh wind, for example, or south-facing to take advantage of natural daylight. Choices like these make a permanent impact on how hard your systems have to work to keep your home bright, warm, or cool enough for comfort. But they can only be made once. At Clarum, our team makes careful planning decisions to ensure we locate your Net Zero home in the optimal location.
Next, we focus on the building envelope. This is the barrier between inside and out, but it’s not just the walls – it’s also the roof, foundation, windows, doors, weather stripping, etc. With an efficient envelope, less heat leaks out during the winter, less heat leaks in during the summer, your HVAC system does less work, and your home consumes less energy.
With passive design and a good envelope, your needs for heating, ventilation and air conditioning will be minimal. Also, your home will be naturally bright and airy. Finally, we install lighting and HVAC designed for efficiency, taking those built-in advantages a step further.
From there, your remaining energy needs come down to the appliances and electronics you choose to include in your lifestyle. Select for efficiency, conserve where possible, and you’ll lower your overhead (and ecological footprint) that much further.
We can help you build your Net Zero home. To learn more, please call us at 650.322.7069