We are amidst a paradigm shift in the building sector– a shift that is completely necessary in the face of our changing climate. One significant tool in the emerging design strategies toolbox for sustainable building construction and operations is the principle of “Net Positive”. A positive energy building is one that produces more energy from renewable sources than it consumes.
Why is this significant? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, about 40% of total U.S. energy consumption was consumed by the residential and commercial sectors in 2016. From space heating and cooling to electricity use, addressing energy consumption at the building level has the potential to make a significant impact on reducing total national energy consumption and thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Massachusetts is very much a part of this movement!
As a part of Greenbuild 2017, the Green Building tours program is showcasing Massachusetts net positive efforts in a full day tour on Monday, November 6 from 8:00AM to 4:00PM. The tour, “Net Positive Revolution” will explore LEED-certified, net positive and passive house buildings that clearly show revolution is afoot again in Massachusetts! Attendess will gain insight on the philosophy and design attributes of the Passive House certification system as well as the building site design, envelope, MEP and renewable energy systems that contribute to net zero building design. In addition, tour attendees will be able to better define how the use of wood as a sustainably-sourced and local material can enhance a project's sustainability.
The tour visits include: an office in Newton MA, with a passive and net positive design that confronts the challenge of retrofitting an existing building to meet Passive House standards; a passive house in Wayland MA which can be heated and cooled by the equivalent of a single burner on a stove; a net positive farmhouse in Lincoln, MA; and Walden Pond Visitors Center (image at right), a net zero energy building that also demonstrates what can be achieved with locally sourced materials and integrating a building into its landscape. Process and detail strategies will be shared by both design professionals and contractors responsible for these projects.
Green Building tours are one of Greenbuild's most popular and exciting features, providing the opportunity to explore green buildings ranging from higher education facilities to sports venues. In addition to the tours, Greenbuild has a whole week of exciting events (Nov. 6 – Nov. 10) including workshops, education sessions and networking opportunities. Be sure to check out the schedule and sign up today!