Archive Of The Category ‘Resources‘


ZNE guidance for CA architects (& others!)

AIA ZNE Primer cover image

AIA ZNE Primer cover image

The American Institute of Architects California Council recently published the Zero Net Energy Primer. I had the privilege of developing the Primer for them under a contract with PG&E. The Primer (if I do say so myself) is a handsome, concise, and accessible guide — a mere 24 pages, including lots of pictures of ZNE homes of all flavors (small, large, single- and multifamily, luxury and affordable). The AIACC’s goal in publishing the document is to ease the task facing California architects with the roll-out of the State’s 2019 energy code (“Title 24”). The new code will go into effect January 1, 2020 and — while it doesn’t quite get us to ZNE — represents a significant advance in residential energy performance, and the first time that homes will be required to install renewable energy systems. (Of course, there will be byes for projects where it’s simply not feasible to install them.) The Primer will, I hope, help architects get a handle on the ZNE requirements ahead of the looming 2020 deadline.

Kudos and many thanks to designer Debra Turner for the engaging design, and to architect Steven Lee for his terrific illustrations.


Air Sealing Doesn’t Just Happen

One of the biggest challenges in a high-performance building project is getting the air sealing right … and it doesn’t JUST HAPPEN. It has to be carefully designed and detailed in the construction documents. A number of architecture firms are doing a very good job at this, one outstanding example being Coldham & Hartman Architects in the Northeast US.

The partners at C&H have been kind enough to allow us to post one of their air sealing drawings so that y’all can use it as a “CASE” study! (That’s pronounced with a light southern drawl, as rendered by Dennis Creech at Southface Energy Institute, and as Dennis explains, that stands for “Copy And Steal Everything.”)

Click here for the whole drawing: C+H A5.2 Wall Section AS

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