Buildings are the single largest consumer of energy in our country - the toll they take on our environment is astounding. A ‘Net Zero’ building however, does things differently. It aspires to a better way of building, a better way of relating to our planet, a better way of living. Designed, modeled and constructed to produce as much energy as it consumes, a Net Zero Energy building moves us toward carbon neutrality, balance and well being for our planet.
This duplex, will be the first CHBA certified Net Zero building in the Kootenays, and only the second in all of British Columbia. While our federal, provincial and municipal governments make notable strides toward legislating carbon neutrality and mandating high performance homes (by 2032 all new homes in BC will be required to be ‘Net Zero Ready’, Step 5 of the BC Step Code), this project is an urgent call to action for builders and Architects alike - we need not wait until 2032! We have the tools and knowledge to design carbon neutral buildings today.
What is a Net Zero building? Broadly speaking, it is a grid tied, carbon neutral (or net positive) building that produces as much energy as it consumes on a yearly basis through on-site renewable resources. To be certified through the CHBA-BC program, a project must: (1) work with a certified Energy Advisor, (2) have a certified Net Zero builder, (3) be designed to reduce energy loss through the building envelope by 33% or better as compared to a Code minimum home, (4) increase energy efficiency through mechanical and electrical systems such that the annual energy consumption of the home is in the range of 36GJ to 40GJ per year, (5) demonstrate as-built air tightness in the home through blower door tests showing 1.5ACH50, (6) include an Energy Monitoring Device in the home to monitor real-time energy production and consumption and (7) include a grid-tied onsite renewable energy source that is able to produce as much energy as is consumed by the building on a yearly basis - typically a solar array.
The form and aesthetic of the ShoreAcres Net Zero duplex - its yin yang of solid and void, light and dark - finds balance between two seemingly opposite design criteria: the constrictive requirements of a high performance building envelope and the desire for expansive spaces with wide-open views toward the Kootenay River. The undulating roof line maximizes year-round sun exposure for two south facing solar arrays, while alluding to the jagged peaks of distant mountain ranges.
Location: ShoreAcres, BC
Team: SOA (Architect), Morley Mountain Homes (Owner/Builder), 3West Building Energy Consultants Inc. (Energy Advisor), Effistruc (Structural), Oso Renewable Energy (Solar design and supply)
Status: Building Permit, Construction