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Towards Net-Zero Energy Buildings: A Case Study in Humid Subtropical Climate

[+] Author Affiliations
Owen Betharte, Hamidreza Najafi, Troy Nguyen

Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL

Paper No. IMECE2018-88518, pp. V06AT08A054; 9 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6A: Energy
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, November 9–15, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5207-1
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


The growing world-wide energy demand and environmental considerations have attracted immense attention in building energy efficiency. Climate zone plays a major role in the process of decision making for energy efficiency projects. In the present paper, an office building located in Melbourne, FL is considered. The building is built in 1961 and the goal is to identify and prioritize the potential energy saving opportunities and retrofit the existing building into a Net-Zero Energy Building (NZEB). An energy assessment is performed and a baseline model is developed using eQUEST to simulate the energy performance of the building. Several possible energy efficiency improvement scenarios are considered and assessed through simulation including improving insulation on the walls and roof, replacing HVAC units and upgrade their control strategies, use of high efficiency lighting, and more. Selected energy efficiency improvement recommendations are implemented on the building model to achieve the lowest energy consumption. It is considered that photovoltaic (PV) panels will be used to supply the energy demand of the building. Simulations are also performed to determine the number of required PV panels and associated cost of the system is estimated. The results from this paper can help with the decision making regarding retrofit projects for NZEB in humid subtropical climate.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Structures , Climate



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