The Challenges of Net Zero Energy Building Architect
The Challenges of the Building Architect is greatly increased as the Knowledge that an Architect should imbibe is already a difficult and a broad one.But the additional roles of the Net Zero Energy Building Architect. for now and in the future is becoming even a more arduous and a difficult journey to undertake and to become a Net Zero Energy Building Architect.
Building Architects are becoming acutely familiar with the need to produce high performance energy buildings in the Green and Sustainability certification Requirements by the certifying bodies such in LEEDs ( USGBC), GBI (Malaysia), Green Mark (Singapore), Passivehaus ( Germany) and Zero Carbon( UK)etc
There was much accolade and hue and cry when Pyramid Building in Putrajaya attained the Platinum certification of GBI, all over the world. The achievement of sustainability and low energy consumption buildings is only the beginning of a greater goal of being organically independent. (read below) In reality achieving a level of sustainability is only the tip of the ice berg.
Energy consumption can be minimized by using the principle recommended by Ashrae 98.1 and Living Challenge. Modern technology makes it possible to produce Net Zero building, it is no more a fantasy for Net Zero Energy Building Architect .This is possible for high rise building and large scale commercial developments.Read on
Net Zero Energy Building Architect should be able to meet the challenges the climatic situation poses, as necessity is the mother of invention. Architects now have found relevance in the world with sciences and not merely delve in the realms of creative and artistic world.
Net Zero Energy Building Architect knowledge should be extended to the world of Building Physics and ought to be able to:
- Provide an integrated procurement system with the Net Zero consideration in place at the outset. Integrating the Net Zero component into design at the outset of schematic stages, which conventionally is never done
- Be familiar with the technologies that enhance the reduction of Net Zero and those qualify Energy Star Renewable energy types such as Photo voltaic systems. Solar thermal systems. Wind turbines, biomass harvesting, geothermal heating and cooling systems and day light harvesting, chilled beams
- Familiar with Building Physics of the heat gain, the thermal heat gain, the sciences of heat (conductance, conductivity, specific heat gain, the psychometric chart of air characteristics of moist air), Heat wheel and recovery, enthalpy wheels, daylight factors, Resistivity, energy modeling, solar analysis. plug load, peak loads,
- Familiarity with software’s such as Ecotect, Vasari, Therm, design studio etc
- Familiarity with standards that govern the Net Zero Energy Building such as Ashrae Standard 90.1, Building codes established by Calgreen, IgCC, Standard 189
- Familiarity with the requirements of certifying programs such as LEEDs, ( USA) GBI(Malaysia), Mark standards( Singapore).
The definitions of Net Zero Energy Building is defined by the NREL, read definitions The highest of the goals of NZEB is the Zero Energy Emission (Carbon) which is difficult to calculate and achieve. This goal is more difficult to achieve that Net Zero Cost. There are many professionals that are pushing the agenda on Net Zero such as Architct MacClay, many should emulate stand and help to move this principles forward.However the our future with Green sustainability and Net Zero is not enough, we need to be ecologically well balance, ecological biodiversity integrated benignly and furthermore for our survival be organically dependent( read below)
The Future with organic dependence
The future for Net Zero Energy Building Architect will depend on how we look to nature and learn the bio metric of nature which does not waste, where waste is reused by others ecological systems.The forest does not need manure, pesticide or insecticide neither watering for survival. They are organic and independent from the external sources for survival. The Forest is organically independent. I wish to coin the term organically dependent
This goal is to be organically dependent of the utilities provided by the National Utility providers for electricity, water and waste disposal etc.
As much as the US should be minimizing the dependence of oil from the Middle East, so should we be in every aspect of maintain and achieve independence to outside sources.Imagine we had a Tsunami as in Japan, our total dependence on the Utility companies can pose a great danger, if the Tsunami was worst than it did, Japan may have been wiped out the world power.
Our long term survival depends on our independence from the external sources. This principle is greater than the sustainability of building which is a trend through out the world.
For one to be organically independent the following should be considered:
- Energy consumption should be produced economically at the site or building. which we have defined as Net Zero Energy Building.
- Waste should be saved form the rain harvested at the site and reserved at the site for use where water is not supplied form external supplies. Options such as pumping from underground wells should be considered as a last fall back on reserves when water in the store runs out. Rainwater can be stored underground using Biosvale storage systems.
- Waste water disposal should be recycled for reuse at the site. Portable water for drinking and use at the site should be harvested at the site.
- Sewerage waste should be processed at the site and reused for vegetation.
Prepared by Net Zero Energy Building Architect Perumal Nagapushnam