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Zero Energy House for the Southern Nevada Area

[+] Author Affiliations
Elena Wilkinson, Robert Boehm

University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

Paper No. ISEC2005-76037, pp. 33-40; 8 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Solar Energy Conference
  • Solar Energy
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, August 6–12, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4737-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3765-3
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of the country’s most rapidly growing cities. To accommodate this growth, a great deal of home building takes place in Clark County, where the city is located. Builders can sell virtually as many houses as they can construct. All of these houses require utility services that, in general, have to be developed. These, of course, include water, electrical power and natural gas. With the high cooling loads required in this environment, the summer demand peaks for electricity are particularly severe. The emphasis of this paper was placed on the energy conservation methods for a planned zero energy residential home for the Southern Nevada area, which would enable net zero electric energy consumption from the local utilities over a year period. Although also important, the cost outcome of the project was considered a secondary issue. The energy analysis was arranged in three principal parts: • Reduction of heating and cooling loads through implementation of sound envelope construction. • Use of highly energy efficient A/C, gas furnace, and lights. • Solar control and utilization. The computer simulation package Energy 10 version 1.6 is employed during the envelope, A/C, furnace and energy-efficient light analysis. The software allows modeling and simulating of a buildings performance based on inputs such as geographical location, building type, orientation, construction materials used and others. The model selected for this study is reflective of the local construction practices, is a single-family one story, 1,610 ft residential house with north facing façade and an attached two-car garage, which in this paper is called the “Base Case”. As a result of the energy analysis performed in this paper, the low-energy house (Modified Case) was created. The Modified Case has the identical orientation and floor plan. Implementation of the full spectrum of energy conserving features yielded a dramatic 105% saving on the annual electrical energy consumption by the Modified Case house when compared to the house built according to the local practices. In addition, the space heating and space cooling energy consumptions were reduced by 96% and 72% respectively. Details of the simulations and the final design details are given in the paper.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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