The Research Center on Zero Emissions Buildings (ZEB) in Trondheim, Norway has a new facility to showcase its work. Designed by architectural firm Snohetta, the ZEB Pilot House takes the “plus house” design theme further than any other existing building, producing twice the energy it consumes.
The angle of the roof was carefully calculated to capture the maximum amount of solar energy year round. Instead of relying on fans and electric sensors for ventilation, the home’s architects relied on natural breezes. There is enough excess energy to heat the outdoor pool and recharge an electric car.
The new ZEB facility will be used as a testing facility for new zero emissions heating and hot water systems. The data collected will help design homes that are even more energy efficient in the future.
Norway presently has almost 800 such “plus houses” feeding electricity back into the grid after meeting all their heating and hot water needs. In fact, all that excess energy has been the cause of some concern for Norway’s electric suppliers.
Last time I checked, Norway has a rather cold climate, so keeping the Pilot House toasty warm year round using only solar heating is a remarkable achievement. There are lots of areas in the US that could benefit from the lessons learned by Norway’s ZEB Pilot House. I know my house, built in 1924, could definitely use some Zero Emissions retrofitting.
Norway’s Energy-positive ZEB Plus House