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
SOUTH, WEST, AND EVEN NORTH FACING ROOF SURFACES ARE COVERED IN SOLAR PANELS FOR 17.6 kW OF ENERGY FROM THE SUN.
WATER USED IN THE HOUSE IS CAPTURED AND REUSED IN THE LANDSCAPE (EXCLUDING TOILET & KITCHEN SINK WATER).
ALL WATER FALLING ON THE HOUSE IS CAPTURED AND STORED FOR REUSE IN THE LANDSCAPE, THE TOILETS, AND EVEN THE WASHING MACHINE.
“HIGH-EFFICACY LIGHTING” (LED LIGHTS) THROUGHOUT FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY. MOTION SENSORS TURN OFF LIGHTS AND WATER HEATING IN UNOCCUPIED SPACES.
THE BRICKS ARE RECYCLED FROM A BUILDING RECENTLY DEMOLISHED AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY WHICH, FOR THIS OWNER, ALSO DOUBLES AS AN ALMA MATER.
WATER-COOLED PANELS ARE MOUNTED TO THE CEILINGS.
PASSIVE FEATURES 8-12
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.
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.
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.
SIDING IS UNDERLAYED WITH A “RAINSCREEN FABRIC” TO ALLOW WATER & CONDENSATION TO EXIT BEFORE IT CAN CAUSE A PROBLEM.
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.
For heating and cooling, after having many technological conversations we chose Messana. We were convinced by their scientific approach and they have been highly responsive, not just from a contractual deployment sense but also have been willing to engage in technology integration discussions, providing us a state of the art cooling and heating system. The system provides a unique temperature and breathing "comfort feel" with no dust and drafts that may appear in forced air systems.Ronjon NagHomeowner, Inventor
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.