GG Zero Energy Design Studio

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<return Fall 2008 - Design Studio sessions


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ZED Design Studio


STEP P1 - Obtain Detroit Bio-climatic Data

STEP P2 - Performance Requirements

  • Overall Performance Standards
  • Human Comfort Zone
    • graph
    • Explore ways to reduce (e.g. close on really cold days, leave lights off (Bio-regional))
  • Building Performance Criteria
    • Green Garage Goals
      • Net-Zero Design
      • Investment Cost is less than 120% of standard space
      • Life-cycle costs are 10% less than a standard performing building
    • Passive House Performance Criteria
      • Annual heat requirement ≤ 15 kWh/m2/year (1.4 kWh/sf/year or 4800 Btu/sf/year)
      • Primary Energy ≤ 120 kWh/m2/year (11 kWh/sf/year or 38,000 Btu/sf/year)
      • Maximum air leakage ≤ 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals (ACH50) (~0.03 ACHnat)

STEP P3 - Model Existing Building

  • Select Building Energy Modeling Software
    • Selection Criteria... our criteria for model selection...that is supports:
      • Passive design strategies, as well as, innovative renewable strategies.
      • Supports programming/strategy phase, as well as, scheming and design phases. if it can go into the construction phase all the better.
      • Produces results in a graphic form that can be understood by the "common" person (a non-arch or non-engineer).
      • Use of the model and data by others in Detroit for their buildings.
      • It has the climatic data we need
      • Runs of the web...shareable
    • Candidate Software
  • Obtain and Load Data
    • Climatic
    • Utility
      • Electrical
      • Gas
        • Natural Gas Rates
  • Model Existing Building
    • Select the Modeling Tool
    • Develop model of existing building
    • Benchmark existing performance
  • Calibrate / Confirm Model
    • Roman Work Sheet Methods

STEP P4 - Passive Strategies

Overall Passive Strategy

Envelope Insulation and Airtight

Natural Ventilation
  • Laurie Catey's Questions
    • Dimensions of the floor of the buildings (area and wall exposures)
      • Historic Building Area = 115ft (S/N) x 76ft (E/W)
      • New Addition Building Area = 65ft (S/N) x 42 ft (E/W)
    • Height of walls/roof and at center monitor
      • Historic Building = Wall height = 14.5 ft / Center of Roof Height = 23 ft
      • New Addition = Wall Height = 15 ft
    • Amount of windows (estimate of % of wall that is window would be fine at this point along with an idea of which exposure the % goes with)
      • Historic Window-to-Wall Ratio = 27% (E/S/W) (Assume 0% for north wall)
      • New Addition Window-to-Wall Ratio = 20% (Assume 0% for south wall)
    • Window shading coefficient
      • Historic Window Shading Coefficient (Summer)
        • East windows = 90% shade
        • South Windows = 90% sun
        • West Windows = 50% sun (will have deciduous trees shading the front..however they will be small at first)
        • North Windows = no windows
      • New Addition Window Shading Coefficient
        • East windows = 90% shade
        • South Windows = no windows
        • West Windows = 50% sun (will have deciduous trees shading the front..however they will be small at first)
        • North Windows = 50% shading need to determine the impact of the Victorian house on north windows)
    • Has anyone ever come up with any sort of heating or cooling load estimate thus far? Did you have a Btu/h/sq. ft. goal in mind from all of your studies?
      • No not yet that is what we're trying to do with V 2.0
    • Assumptions for the walls and roof.I believe we were going to start with R=50 for walls and R=60 for roof, so that's what I based my first pass on.
      • That's correct
    • Average Wind Speed - I was also wondering from your wind rose experience if you had a "design" wind speed in mind for summer cooling through natural ventilation? I looked at the Sun, Wind & Light book, and it seemed like 4 or 5 mph would be a good number for July-August hot day to use.
      • This is exactly right... 4 - 5 mph for the city center. It's easy to get numbers in the macro (Detroit) , but harder to get the numbers in the micro (our neighborhood).
Overall Sketch
Detail Natural Ventilation Sketch #1
Detail Natural Ventilation Sketch #2
Detail Natural Ventilation Sketch #3

Earth-Air Tube Designs

Solar heating
  • Green Garage Solar Heating Design
    • Solar Thermal Collectors
      • Overall
      • Which type of collector is better?
        Collector Efficiency - form Built it Solar
        • All Manufacturers
        • Evacuated Tube
          • Efficiency - better at higher temperature differentials...lower in a normal residential/commercial system (unless high temps are needed.)
          • Cost - higher cost sf ... approximately $75/sf
          • Durability - slightly worst...more complex design...ave 15 yr life...failure point is evacuated tube seals.
        • Flat Panel
          • Efficiency - better at lower to mid temp differentials...better overall performance once integrated into a system.
          • Cost - lower cost per sf...approx $25/sf
          • Durability - significantly better... ave 30 - 40 year life.
        • Decision
          • should be cost per BTU generated...why not just buy little more of a slightly lower efficient panel and get same total energy
        • Manufacturers
          • Sun Earth Imperial Flat Plate, single glazed, copper, selective absorber |0.714, -0.727 from Build it Solar
          • Seido 1-16 Evacuated Tube, evacuated glass tube, copper selective absorber |0.529, -0.299 from Build it Solar
      • How should the panels be positioned?
        • Vertically
          • Fixed position - per SRCC guide the panels should be 55 degrees (Latitude + 15 degrees) for winter heating driven systems.
        • Horizontally
      • What is the thermal energy (BTU/sf/h)that a panel can generate? See Built it Solar - Panel Efficiency Calculator
        • Energy for 40 degrees Latitude
        • Solar Data for Michigan
        • On a sunny day? 750 BTU/sf/h
        • On a partly cloudy day? 600 BTU/sf/h (750 BTU/sf/h * 75% per Build it Solar)
        • On a cloudy day? 375 BTU/sf/h (750 BTU/sf/h * 50% per Build it Solar)
          Detroit Cloud Cover from Sun, Wind and Light
      • How many panels do we need?
        • Total BTU's required
    • Thermal Storage
      • Detailed Design Liquid Thermal Guide
      • Location of Storage
        • Do not locate outdoors
      • Size of storage
      • Temp (max - min)...max varies...but generally up to 180 degrees with 200 degree intermittent. Need to check with each manufacturer.
      • Thermal Architecture
      • Manufacturers
        • American Solar Solutions Comes on a pallet and you can get it in the basement. Comes in 800 gallon tanks with heat exchangers.
    • Maximum temp
      • Solar panels
      • Storage
      • Plex
      • Geothermal

    • Geothermal - operating temps (min-max)

  • Thermal Storage / Mass
    • Overall Design Guidelines
      • Size
        • Purposes are hot water (small) and heating (large)
        • 10 gallons ( or approx 1 cu ft) for every 1 sf of solar panel if you want to get to near 95% of heating demand
        • Hold four days of heat (Rushforth LLC uses 2+ days... and gets much better results than one day)
      • Shape / Exchangers
        • maybe break the tank it into 2 sections
        • Put the coils for the heat pump in the water and it uses the heat from 90F down to 40F.
      • Material
        • concrete tanks are quite common
    • STSS Tanks ... check out the price of these...look very nice for us.
    • Build It Solar - Storage Thermal Storage ... great solutions.
    • DIY Water Thermal Storage Tank Nice simple cheap storage tank.
    • Australian Guide to Using Thermal Mass ... good practical guide. It shows water as the best thermal mass by far .... twice that of concrete.
    • ORNL Research comparing the benefits of mass walls to normal construction.
  • Phase Change Materials (PCM)
  • Radiant Heating
    • Facts
      • Only 10% of heat is lost through the floor...42% through the roof
      • Radiant heats up to about 7ft from the floor
    • Overall Floor Designs
    • Over existing concrete
      • Building Science Report on Concrete basements...also good for walls.
      • Over existing concrete forum reply
      • Gypcrete over existing concrete is an accepted and common practice. Any "cementious" material designed for the purpose will do. If you have a walk-out or suffer from high ground water than one inch of closed cell polystyrene would be in order if you live above the Mason/Dickson. Each manufacturer will tell you how deep to pour but an 1.5" is typical with a 1/2" cover over the tube.
    • Suppliers
      • Viega ProRadiant look at Walmart radiant cooling project. Also ... see their Tube Mats.

Wind Heating
Passive Cooling Strategies (Impact)
Passive Cooling Strategies from Sun Wind & Light
  • Overall
  • Natural Ventilation
    • 90 days of natural ventilation cooling (partial) (M)
    • Earth-Air Tubes - precool air (M)
    • Energy Recovery Unit - Cool air (70%) (H)
    • Wind cowls (? on chimney)
  • Solar Gain Control
    • Windows
      • Appropriate Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) (H)
      • Shutters for the windows
    • Natural Shading
      • Green screens / roofs (M)
      • Trees in front (M)
      • Heat island minimization through plantings (L)
    • Cool Roof
      • White reflective roof material (H)
      • Radiant barrier in roof system (H)
      • R-55 insulation (H)
  • Thermal Mass / Storage
    • Concrete slab - radiant loop capture (M)
    • Water - thermal storage tank (L-H)
  • Occupancy Heat Minimization
    • Minimize heat from lighting ... daylighting (M)
  • Evaporative Cooling
    • Roof evaporative water spray (M)
  • Active Cooling Concepts
    • Gossamer fans (M)
    • Non-peak geothermal cooling with radiant floor...radiant floor cooling suggests 68F floors citing ASHRAE report. (H)
    • Evening purging (L)

STEP P5 - Develop Integrated Building System Strategies

STEP P6 - Model New Building

  • Select Modeling Tools
    • Energy-10 for whole building modeling
    • WUFI for wall, floor and roof modeling
  • Energy-10
  • WUFI Output
  • Modeling Lesson Learned


STEP S1 - Determine Gaps + Prioritize

STEP S2 - Renewable + No Carbon

STEP S3 - Other Efficient Supplemental Strategies


STEP I1 - Develop Integrated Systems Designs

  • Roof
  • Walls
  • Windows / Doors
  • Floors

STEP I2 - Model Integrated Design

  • Obtain Data
    • Material Performance Measures
  • Confirm Results
    • Simple Models

Meeting Agenda

Jan 28

Topics include:

  • Daylighting III - Laura
  • Energy 10 Update
  • Earth - Air Tubes - Tom
  • Energy Exchangers - Laurie and Tom

Jan 21

  • Meeting with Roman at 10:30am - noon on the Solar Heating design...all are welcome!
  • 1pm - 3pm Meeting
    • Daylighting - Laura will be showing 3D models of the Green Garage so we can see the effects of daylighting options
    • Energy-10 - Kirsten will provide any updates on E-10 questions from last week, wall design inputs
    • Solar Heating - Update on the solar heating design
    • Other Topics - WUFI results, test wall, Earth-Air tubes findings

Jan 7

  • Natural Ventilation refresh review. Summarizing the key design points. A copy of Laurie's designs are now on the GG wiki in the Natural Ventilation section. It's very exciting to see this design come together. I'd also like to at least target the winter heat recovery design part of this during this meeting. Every passive design home has a heat/cooling exchange ventilation in it. We'll need to get this addressed here in some basic way. Laurie and Ken can you bring your thoughts here?
  • Daylighting -- Laura will lead us in a review of this preliminary Daylighting design. We need to determine a basic strategy for this for the historic building at this design session.
  • Energy 10 - Kirsten will be providing a summary of our 2.0 (2.1, 2.2 and 2.3) results which will allow us to make a preliminary decision on the U-rating of the windows. She will also have made the refinements for input data for our low air infiltration levels.

Dec 10

  • Natural Ventilation II - Laurie was going to run some numbers and present an initial design for the ventilation to begin our discussions around.
  • Wall Prototype - lets talk about the "mock" wall Joe is going to build using our wall system design
  • Solar Heating - Roman is working on a design for the solar heating...let's see what he has and get him the data/input he needs to come up with his initial design.
  • Energy - 10 - Update from Kirsten on progress in modeling the building.

Laura is there anything that you and Bob wanted input on or reaction to regarding daylighting? Neither Laura or Bob will be here this week.

Dec 3

  • Natural Ventilation Design
    • Laura Catie: Basic science and ideas.
    • The WUFI model humidity to deal with
    • Ideas
      • Ken's ideas
      • ZED factory has some ideas.
    • Short List
  • Daylighting II - Bob will do an update on the daylighting plan...including skylighting/solartube.
  • Energy-10 update. first data points...with our envelope and window designs included.
  • Laurie Catie has some info on human comfort zones to share. Seems like a great area to learn about.

Nov 26

  • Review Passive Strategy
  • Reality Check the light in the alley to confirm sun analysis
  • WUFI results
    • Wall refinements (increased rigid insulation)
  • Start Window Design
    • Windows 101
    • Window Design Guidelines
      • Target U / R
    • Design Elements (size, location,
    • Daylighting Principles
  • Kirsten Energy-10 Update + Takeoffs
  • Laurie - Comfort Analysis

Summary of the meeting

  • Refined the wall system using WUFI to eliminate water build up.
  • Determined the design parameters for our windows.
    • Here's a summary on the GG wiki.
    • Several of you asked for the Efficient Window Collaborative site.
    • Here's our window and daylighting resource section of the GG wiki.
  • Began dividing up future tasks
    • Kirsten is doing the Energy-10 modeling and Sketch-Up
    • Ken is going to bring in ventilation ideas/designs
    • Bob Prudhomme is going to refine our Daylighting strategy with skylighting and Solartubes
    • Joe will start to build models of our wall and floor systems
    • Tom is focusing in on the WUFI model and natural ventilation

We'll need to get Roman going on the Solar heating design. Laurie C. will help lead the natural ventilation area. Laura, could you help Kirsten with the Energy-10 modeling ...reviewing inputs, etc.? Also, let me know of other areas that you might be interested in leading up.

Nov 19

  • Review Passive Strategy
  • WUFI results
  • Complete Roof
  • Complete the Roof - Wall Connection Design
  • Review the Entire Envelope Design

Nov 12

  • Review Passive Strategy
  • Continue Envelope Design
    • Wall Design - refine
    • Floor Design
    • Wall - Floor Connection
    • Begin Roof

Nov 5

  • Review Passive Strategy
  • Begin Envelope Design
    • Wall Design
  • Review Simulation Tools WUFI + Energy-10

Oct 28

  • Reality Check the light in the alley at 1pm (noon) to confirm sun analysis
  • Energy Modeling
    • Select tool (Laura)
    • Confirm Data Needs (Laura)
      • Detroit Bio-climatic
      • DTE Rate Book
      • Gas rates
    • Roman Manual Calc Approach
  • Review GG ZED Design Studio
  • Review Passive Strategy

Oct 21

  • Review Bio-climatic Data
    • Wind Map (Rose) Chart
    • Sun Map Chart
    • Comfort Chart
    • Detroit Data
  • Review and Select Modeling Tool
  • Tom talking about the wind and sun maps:

Sept 10


  • GG Latitude (42.351821) and Longitude (-83.066769)
  • GG Sun Path Diagram (need to upload)
  • GG Heating Degree Days

Sept 17

  • Meeting with Laurie
    • Confirm process
    • Confirm modeling needs and selection (eQuest)
    • Confirm resource approach - roles, interns
    • Commissioning work
  • Complete Charts
    • Sun Path with building
    • Wind rose with building
    • Water flow with building
  • Determine Orientation
    • 23 degree tilt counterclockwise
  • Modeling
    • eQuest

Oct 1

  • Orient Mike M.
  • Review ZED design
  • Develop Bio-climate
  • Develop Wind Map
    • Wind Rose
  • Human Comfort Zone
    • Sheltered ??
  • Setup Green Companion meetings
    • Laurie
    • Roman
    • Geothermal company
  • Modeling
    • eQuest
  • Next Steps?

Oct 8

  • Orient Laura NORR
  • Review ZED design
  • Develop Bio-climate
  • Develop Wind Map
    • Wind Rose
  • Human Comfort Zone
    • Sheltered ??
  • Setup Green Companion meetings
    • Laurie Catie
    • Lauren Corie
    • Roman
    • Geothermal company
  • Modeling
    • eQuest
  • Next Steps?