Below you will find a two part video discussion courtesy of Lou Fenninger the founder of Net Zero Build.ca.
In the twin videos Lou talks about his vision and history with net zero building design.
Part 1 outlines his overall strategy and concepts. Part 2 delves into some design specifics and origins or his building design vision for the future.
Lou Fenninger is building a net zero energy home in Ontario’s cottage country north of Toronto. The winters are harsh. Thus the concept of Lou’s net zero design strategies must be coordinated to accept the demands of rigorous winters… and hot, sweltering and humid summers.
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Inspired by the architecture of the Pueblo Indians, the Moore house was designed by Doerr Architecture to create more energy than it uses, a net-zero energy home. Mike and Ann Moore had property at an elevation of almost 8000 feet in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and wanted a 3500 square foot home with space to show their art collection. They wanted a home that captured the feel of adobe architecture as well as the views of the continental divide while treading lightly on the earth.
Architect Thomas Doerr alluded to Pueblo buildings with a composition of simple forms that have flat roofs, plaster walls, vigas (log beams), turquoise-colored window frames and a circular courtyard reminiscent of Native American spiritual spaces, kivas.
The Moore Studio achieves net-zero energy usage with passive solar design, ‘tuned’ heat reflective windows, super-insulated and air-tight construction, natural daylighting, solar thermal panels for hot water and space heating, a photovoltaic (PV) system that generates more carbon-free electricity than the house requires, and an energy-recovery ventilator (ERV) for fresh air. The green building strategies used on the Moore Studio earned it an amazing and verified HERS score of -3; one of a few houses in the US to ever do this.
Other green building strategies used in the Moore Studio include a grey water system, using salvaged and FSC certified wood, and using low-emission cabinetry and finishes.
Take a few minutes to watch this video to learn about some alternative and innovative building design options that can be used by anyone that has the vision and wants to make the best use of natural, locally sourced resources along with the elements to build and sustain a comfortable home and lifestyle.
Somewhere in Ontario, it’s September and you’re sitting in your house wondering why the dog hasn’t come out of the basement in four days. Heat warnings have been posted for Toronto for the past four days and you might be wondering why you didn’t buy that air conditioner.
Well, somewhere else in Ontario, Eagle Lake to be precise, Lou and Marianne Fenninger have no heat, no cooling, no electricity moving air in their brand new home… and the weather is fine.
“The temp(erature) inside has stayed at 20 for the last 3.5 months without any help from heating or cooling,” says Fenninger, and that’s not a miracle and it’s not a result of any divine intervention.
It’s that way by design. Lou is out to prove that an idea he had a long, long time ago is indeed feasible and progressive. We need to lay off the fossil fuels and Lou is incorporating many of the cutting edge (and historically tested) designs in staying true to that vision.
The vision? That a house can run self-sufficiently even here in Canada, where most people are so reliant on the dictates of fossil fuels in the winter that some families need to decide what comes first: heat or food.
This latest video shows Lou in his favorite place, walking a videographer through his house.
And yes the house is big. But Lou has always maintained that these houses – Net-Zero-Projects – can be run at scales to fit any size family or situation.
Take a look at this video. It may change your mind about what is, and is not, possible!