Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson Builds a Zero Net Energy House in Palo Alto

A building’s energy use in its lifetime is overwhelmingly higher than the embodied energy used to produce and assemble the materials. 

The ratio is 5-10% for embodied energy and 90%-95% for energy use. This is why reducing energy use to net zero has such a big impact!

In simple language, a Zero Net Energy house produces as much energy as it uses on an annual basis, depending on occupant behaviour.

It’s a futuristic concept of housing, may be about 15 years ahead than the current housing sector.

Image credit: Norbert von der Groeben/Isiphoto (via Mercury News)

Various aspects need to be considered while designing a zero net energy house like technology, materials and efficiency standards.

It also includes features such as advanced heating, cooling, ventilation, high-efficiency windows, and superior levels of insulation and air tightness and solar panels that feed the electrical grid. 

Mark Jacobson, director of Stanford University’s Atmosphere/Energy program builds his house using the concept of Zero Net Energy. He is a Stanford Professor of Climate and Clean Energy.

Image credit: Norbert von der Groeben/Isiphoto (via Mercury News)

Jacobson’s 3,200-square-foot, two-story home with 12-foot high ceilings near the Stanford Dish has a solar panel system that generates all the energy needed to power his house and cars.

Some of the unique features of his Zero Net Energy house:
  • No gas line is running in the property 
  • A solar panel system to power his house and cars
  • Energy is stored in Tesla Powerwall batteries in the garage
  • All kitchen appliances run on electric while heat pumps run in reverse for air conditioning purpose.
  • A polystyrene panels and polyurethane foam used to get more insulation that helps reduce energy consumption.
  • House built on the Peninsula by BONE Structure, uses patented light steel-frame building technology – it’s easy and quick to assemble at site.
His house will produce as much energy as it consumes, this really a big opportunity to improve the environment.

By having a zero net energy house, you save money on energy costs all year round and protection from future energy price fluctuations. 

It provides healthier and more comfortable living spaces and helps in lowering the greenhouse gas emissions. (Source: Mercury News)


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