sdaarchi SDA Architect How to design Net Zero Energy for a high rise office 65 levels Tower | SDA Architect

Net Zero Energy Building ( NZEB)

Here are steps which we used to design Net Zero Energy Building  for an office commercial tower. the located in Kuala Lumpur for a utility company.We hope to win the award and as we do we will reveal the details of the project. The proposal is being considered in a favorable light.

Methodology/ steps
                              Proposal Proposal details Savings in the electrical load
Step 1

stage 1 to Net Zero design

step 1 to Net Zero design

Baseline building Low Energy High Performance Building.

  • Standard 189( standard for design of high performance Green building)
  • Defining NZEB, classification by NBI Benchmarking by BEI based on NBI
  • Energy modelling by Ecotect software

Energy Pie

Energy Pie savings

Step 2  

Stage 2 to Net Zero design

step 2 to Net Zero design

Heat gain analysis

solar path analysis

  •  Optimizing the orientation the building based on the study on the  energy model with respect the solar path. best layout produces optimum savings

Energy Pie

Energy Pie savings

Step 3

srages 3 to Net Zero design

step 3 to Net Zero design



 Shading the worst side of the building with green planting, vertical green walls and the theme of Office in the Forest and Forest in the Office will help the air con temperature by 4 degree 10%

Energy Pie

Energy Pie savings

Step 4

step 4 to Net Zero design

step 4 to Net Zero design

step 5 to Net Zero design

Thermal zonedouble skin

double skin cladding

double skin

 Double skin cladding will provide super insulation at the inner skin wall( composite alum panels ,fiber glass and high density board with a Thermal Zones  and   Thermal Bridging and greening the zones with the double skin wall glass wall with a Low Energy glass ceramic frets. 10%

Energy Pie

Energy Pie savings


Step 5   LED lightsstages 5 to Net Zero design The use of high energy LED lights for the external and internal useDay light harvesting for the inner part of the building by using light shelves, sin harvesting using the latest technologies to the inner part of the buildings 18%

Energy Pie

Energy Pie savings

Step 6  

stages 6 to Net Zero design

step 6 to Net Zero design

High M&E Performance systems

High Performance systems

High performance mechanical systems, pumps, equipments, air con systems
Technologies such as Energy recycling wheels, Hydrocarbon refrigerant, PowerPact to reduce the hikes in energy supplied

Energy Pie

Energy Pie savings

Step 7  

stage 6 to Net Zero design

step 6 to Net Zero design

BAS Sensor monitoring and controls

BAS monitoring and controls

 Saving of lighting by using BAS systems, actuators etc
A BAS that monitors the energy consumption, by provision of sub meters and good regulators to keep the energy  consumption down.

Energy Pie

Energy Pie savings

Step 8  

stage 8 to Net Zero design

step 8 to Net Zero design

Solar panel
wind turbine

Photo Voltaic Panels

renewable energy PV

Wind turbine

Wind turbine renewable energy

Solar Panels will produce about 10 percent of the power consumption using high performance PU panels, the flat roof at the car parks, the elevated eco walks, the horizontal louvers above the building or car-parking lots etc. will be providing shade using the solar panels .A Wind turbine will be located  at the roof top of the  building. For wind turbine to be effective the wind speed ought to be a minimum of 5m/sThe Biomass produced form the site of Campus of 80 acres site could be used to generate electricity. 7-10%

Energy Pie savings

Renewable Energy Pie savings

Total saving in the electrical load 100%

Diagram above is a modification and reinterpretation of Tom Hootman‘s energy savings concepts.

Other Design Process which ought to be integrated in the building design are:

a) create a shoe box model of the tower and analysis the energy consumption, using this model as a basis of comparison for the proposal for the detail design.This will be called the control energy model

b)Add features which will help to reduce the energy consumption as listed above from  Steps 1 to Step 8. Using he control energy model above, the energy saving are evaluated and compared for each of the proposal

c) The Benchmark for energy consumption is established by the Consultant using the Peers Buildings Baselines and the energy pie is created with benchmark for each category of the energy pie.

d) Specific modification are made based on this energy data.

e)The renewable energy normally are a very costly element. it is advise that the options such as Photo Voltaic systems , wind turbines, biomass energy harvesting systems, geothermal heat/cooling systems  from the ground are studied carefully  to make up for the  last remaining portion of the energy pie to create the Net Zero energy building . The last remaining portion reduced to a minium of the total 20-25 % of the total energy pie.

There are 4 Definitions of Net Zero Energy Buildings by the NREL (The National Renewable Energy Laboratory):

  1. Net Zero Site Energy Building -a building that produces as much renewable energy as it uses over the year.
  2. Net Zero Source Energy Building – a building that produces as much renewable energy as it uses over the year when accounted from the energy source.
  3. Net Zero Energy Emission Building -a building the purchases or produces enough emission-free renewable energy to offset the emission from the energy used in the building
  4. Net Zero Energy Cost Building-a building that receive enough financial credit to offset the energy consumption of the building over a period of a year.

The Net Zero Energy Cost Building is preferred definition as it is much easier to achieve and convince the building owners to adopt the proposal of  can see the actual cost benefits for the money  invested in to achieving the Net Zero energy building. In the case of a large development such as a 64 storey office tower, the cost for Green and sustainability would range about USD15million. therefore any vested investor would like to see invested money returned over a period of time. The achieving Net Zero Energy Emission Building are long shots deals as it can be capitalized eventually by selling  Carbon print to companies of vested interest


Prepared by Net Zero Energy Architect Perumal Nagapushnam of