Net Zero Single Family Remodel: Whys & Woes

This session details the design and construction challenges inherent in a net zero energy remodel and addition to a modest single family residence in Arlington, Massachusetts, completed in winter 2021. The project team sought practical, low cost, and reproducible solutions to meet project goals of net zero energy, minimizing embodied carbon, and electrification. We aspire to broaden the toolset of owners, designers, and builders by sharing our approaches to permit approval, structural design, building envelope, window specification and installation, and HVAC. Local zoning regulations and a non-conforming existing structure proved to be major obstacles to desired envelope upgrades. We will suggest methods of navigating zoning constraints to attain a net zero energy remodel.

Session Chair(s): 

Event Time: 

Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 8:00am to 9:00am

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CEU Information: 

BPI 1.0 hour​
Mass. CSL 1.0 hour Energy
4.5 credit-hour packets available from PHIUS, RESNET, and Mass. CSL

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze zoning requirements for future projects and develop high-performance solutions which satisfy those requirements
  • Evaluate options for low embodied carbon building materials and strategies relative to competing goals of construction cost and operational carbon
  • Develop simple and cost-effective net zero energy building envelope retrofit solutions
  • Identify practical strategies and equipment related to building electrification

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