Towards Net Zero Energy Buildings: A Parametric Study on Building Energy Performance for Different US Climate Zones
Betharte, Owen Geraldo
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A Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) can produce as much energy as it requires over an annual basis. This research investigated the building energy performance of different parameters over six US climate zones to ascertain which passive and active strategies would be most effective in each climate zone. Six cities were chosen to represent different climate zones. The focus of this study is for the Alumni House at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL to achieve NZE through retrofitting energy efficient measures (EEMs). An implementation of all active and passive strategies, also referred to Energy Efficiency Measures (EEM), with disregard to cost was applied to the building envelope in each climate zone for a simulation of one year. Anchorage, AK showed the greatest total energy savings of approximately 23,690 kWh; whereas, San Francisco had the highest potential energy savings by proportion of 58.82%. The most cost effective EEM simulated was an installation of a programmable thermostat with a possible energy savings of 32.23% in Anchorage, AK. This study suggests that to optimize building energy performance and maximize energy costs savings, EEMs interspersed throughout a building’s envelope will make a substantial impact on a building’s total energy consumption. The results from this research can help with decision making process in improving building energy efficiency projects in different climate zones and particularly state of Florida.