Project Description

NAG RESIDENCE

NetZero Passive House

Lovely English character home with Silicon Valley technology

Location:
Palo Alto, CA (USA)
Building Type:
Single Family Home (Passive House)
Year:
2013 (completed in July 2014)
Area:
5,919 sf
Owner:
Sally-Ann & Ronjon Nag

Mechanical Engineer & Mechanical Contractor:
Comfort Energy

comfort-energy-logo

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:

200 sensors

Windows, presence, humidity, temperature, energy

Battery back system

Smart irrigation system

HVAC optimized energy system

Messana Control Magic is set to save energy and optimize comfort

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

ELECTRIC AIR-TO-WATER HEAT PUMP (DAIKIN ALTHERMA) THAT TRANSFORMS UNUSED AND INEXHAUSTIBLE ENERGY FROM THE OUTSIDE AIR TO HEAT OR CHILL WATER FOR THE WHOLE HOUSE NEED OF HEATING, DOMESTIC HOT WATER AS WELL AS COOLING.

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.

TESTIMONIAL

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.

PROJECT DETAILS

Conditioning System: Radiant Cooling and Heating with 50 Ray Magic gypsum ceiling panels

Powered by: 5-Tons Daikin Altherma Split Type air-to-water heat pump


1600

Total Radiant Ceiling/Wall Area (sf)


3555

Total Conditioned Area (sf)


45

Ratio (%)

PROJECT GALLERIES

Construction Gallery

Design Gallery

Infrared Gallery

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