NetZero Passive House
Lovely English character home with Silicon Valley technology
Palo Alto, CA (USA)
Single Family Home (Passive House)
2013 (completed in July 2014)
Sally-Ann & Ronjon Nag
Being in Silicon Valley, Sally-Ann and Ronjon wanted to build one of the smartest homes around, yet keep in character with other houses in the neighborhood. They researched the latest technologies to create a Net-Zero, Passive House that was comfortable, yet environmentally efficient. For the conditioning system they chose Messana Radiant Cooling and heating solution.
Some high-tech internet integrated features of the house:
ACTIVE FEATURES 1-7
1. SOLAR PANELS
SOUTH, WEST, AND EVEN NORTH FACING ROOF SURFACES ARE COVERED IN SOLAR PANELS FOR 17.6 kW OF ENERGY FROM THE SUN.
2. GREYWATER RECYCLING
WATER USED IN THE HOUSE IS CAPTURED AND REUSED IN THE LANDSCAPE (EXCLUDING TOILET & KITCHEN SINK WATER).
3. RAINWATER HARVESTING
ALL WATER FALLING ON THE HOUSE IS CAPTURED AND STORED FOR REUSE IN THE LANDSCAPE, THE TOILETS, AND EVEN THE WASHING MACHINE.
4. KEEP ENERGY USE DOWN
“HIGH-EFFICACY LIGHTING” (LED LIGHTS) THROUGHOUT FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY. MOTION SENSORS TURN OFF LIGHTS AND WATER HEATING IN UNOCCUPIED SPACES.
5. RECYCLED MATERIALS
THE BRICKS ARE RECYCLED FROM A BUILDING RECENTLY DEMOLISHED AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY WHICH, FOR THIS OWNER, ALSO DOUBLES AS AN ALMA MATER.
6. RADIANT COOLING
WATER-COOLED PANELS ARE MOUNTED TO THE CEILINGS.
7. AIR TO WATER HEAT PUMP
PASSIVE FEATURES 8-12
8. SEAL IT TIGHT
AIR MOVEMENT IS CONTROLLED MECHANICALLY THROUGH AN “HRV” (HEAT RECOVERY VENTILATOR). TO DO THIS ALL EXTERIOR PLYWOOD SEAMS (WALLS, ROOFS, & INTERSECTIONS WITH WINDOWS AND DOORS OR OTHER OPENINGS) ARE SEALED WITH ONE OF 2 TYPES OF SPECIAL TAPE.
9. SUPER INSULATE IT
IN ADDITION TO STANDARD WALL INSULATION, THE EXTERIOR PLYWOOD (WALLS AND ROOF) AND BASEMENT CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALLS & FLOOR ARE WRAPPED IN A RIGID FOAMBOARD INSULATION LAYER.
10. CONTROL THE OPENINGS
TO MAINTAIN COMFORT, TRIPLE-PANE LOW-E WINDOWS WITH PASSIVE-HOUSE RATED FRAMES (REDUCED AIR LEAKAGE) ARE STRATEGICALLY LOCATED TO ALLOW DESIRABLE WINTER SOLAR HEAT GAIN IN, WHILE KEEPING UNDESIRABLE SUMMER HEAT OUT.
11. KEEP IT DRY
SIDING IS UNDERLAYED WITH A “RAINSCREEN FABRIC” TO ALLOW WATER & CONDENSATION TO EXIT BEFORE IT CAN CAUSE A PROBLEM.
12. RADIANT CEILING PANELS
HYDRONIC RADIANT CEILING PANELS (BY MESSANA) INTEGRATED IN THE DRYWALL TO EFFICIENTLY RADIATE UNIFORM COMFORTABLE HEAT IN THE WINTER AND PROVIDE RADIANT COOLING DURING THE SUMMER.
Dr. Ronjon Nag pioneered the deployment of smartphone componentry – speech and handwriting recognition, predictive text , and the app stores that smartphones depend upon. He sold the companies he co-founded to Motorola and BlackBerry, causing his technologies to be embedded in the earliest smartphones, resulting in billions of downloads. Educated at Cambridge, MIT and Stanford he is now involved in building new smartphone software and machine intelligence companies.