The objective of the Task is to study current net-zero, near net-zero and very low energy buildings and to develop a common understanding, a harmonized international definitions framework, tools, innovative solutions and industry guidelines. A primary means of achieving this objective is to document and propose practical NZEB demonstration projects, with convincing architectural quality. These exemplars and the supporting sourcebook, guidelines and tools are viewed as keys to industry adoption. These projects will aim to equalize their small annual energy needs, cost-effectively, through building integrated heating/cooling systems, power generation and interactions with utilities.
The planned outcome of the Task is to support the conversion of the NZEB concept from an idea into practical reality in the marketplace. The Task source book and the datasets will provide realistic case studies of how NZEBs can be achieved. Demonstrating and documenting real projects will also lower industry resistance to adoption of these concepts.
The Task will build upon recent industry experiences with net-zero and low energy solar buildings and the most recent developments in whole building integrated design and operation. The joint international research and demonstration activity will address concerns of comparability of performance calculations between building types and communities for different climates in participating countries. The goal is solution sets that are attractive for broad industry adoption.
The scope includes major building types (residential and non-residential), new and existing, for the climatic zones represented by the participating countries. The work will be linked to national activities and will focus on individual buildings, clusters of buildings and small settlements. The work will be based on analysis of existing examples that leads to the development innovative solutions to be incorporated into national demonstration buildings.
Although this Task will not research large community-scale developments, the Task will study the interaction and integration of large numbers of NZEBs with electric and natural gas utilities and community energy systems. The work will be connected to other international collaborations on net zero energy solutions at the community level.
This Task will pursue integrated architecture and optimal integrated design solutions that provide good indoor environment for both heating and cooling situations. The process recognizes the importance of optimizing the design for the functional requirement, reducing loads and designing energy systems that pave the way for seamless incorporation of renewable energy innovations as they become cost effective.
A goal of the Task is to advance the NZEB concept from an idea into practical reality in the marketplace. The Task source book and the datasets will provide realistic case studies of how NZEBs can be achieved. Demonstrating and documenting real projects will also lower industry resistance to adoption of these concepts.