ARTICLE BY TIM DELHEY EIAN, TE STUDIO This article describes the opportunities for energy independent buildings through application of the Passive House building energy standard. Passive House offers the potential for true energy independence. With its “energy conservation first” approach, Passive House minimizes the energy needs of a building radically right up front. This reduction allows for smaller renewable energy systems like solar photo voltaic or solar thermal to become very effective. In most circumstances, a Passive House building can be designed and retrofit to meet these standards:

· Net Zero Site Energy: A site ZEB (Zero Energy Building) produces at least as much
energy as it uses in a year, when accounted for at the site · Zero Utility Bill: Produce enough energy on site to offset the cost of all utility bills

· Net Zero Source Energy: A source ZEB produces at least as much energy as it uses
in a year, when accounted for at the source—the utility provider. Source energy refers to the primary energy used to generate and deliver the energy to the site. To calculate a building’s total source energy, imported and exported energy is multiplied by the appropriate site-to-source conversion multipliers (to account for generation and transmission losses) · Net Zero Energy Costs: In a net zero energy cost building, the amount of money the utility provider pays the building owner for the energy the building exports to the grid is at least equal to the amount the owner pays the utility for the energy services and energy used over the year · Net Zero Energy Emissions: A net-zero emissions building produces at least as much emissions-free renewable energy as it uses from emissions-producing energy sources. This is sometimes referred to as a carbon-neutral building

· Carbon Offset and Net Positive Energy: A building offsets more CO2 than produced
at the utility provider to deliver the energy consumed on site. It produces more energy than used at the utility provider to deliver site energy. In this case, the building helps offset energy used elsewhere All the above options offer a clear path to energy independence—both for the building, as well as society. An energy independent building is a true asset for an uncertain energy future.

© TE Studio, Ltd.

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