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Zero Net Energy - January 19, 2022

by gmoke Wed Jan 19th, 2022 at 05:29:08 AM EST

Ithaca, NY raises $100 million to decarbonize its buildings
https:/www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/19/ithaca-new-york-raised-100m-climate-proof-buildi ngs

18 story tower gets a deep energy retrofit
Editorial Comment:  Greening the Empire State Building (from 2011)

WorldG[reen]B[uilding]C[ouncil] Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment expands to include embodied carbon
WorldGBC Advancing Net Zero Project

Telosa - "To create a new city in America that sets a global standard for urban living, expands human potential, and becomes a blueprint for future generations"

Passive House 101 - Anatomy of an amazing net-zero cold climate passive house in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
hat tip John B Hoag

International Energy Agency commits to become net zero by 2024
Net Zero by 2050:  A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector
hat tip to treehugger.com

Robin Wood - an urban block made of wood which will be net zero in construction and operation, including a micro-forest

Build Better Now - virtual reality presentation of green building prepared for COP26

Ripple House - entry for Solar Decathlon in Wuppertal, Germany

Affordable net zero houses which are carbon negative, harvest 100% of the rainwater, clean their sewage and potentially grow their own food

MA's first energy positive public school, the 70,242-sf Annie E. Fales Elementary School
hat tip to Rudy Perkins

Wisconsin's first carbon neutral school
spectrumnews1.com/wi/milwaukee/news/2021/04/16/wisconsin-s-first-carbon-neutral-school-up-an d-running
/www.oregonsd.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=552&ModuleInstanceID=10574&am p;ViewID=6446EE88-D30C-497E-9316-3F8874B3E108&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=22895&PageID=5466
hat tip to Rudy Perkins

More net zero energy buildings and developments?
. yes 100%
. no 0%
. not yes 0%
. not no 0%
. neither yes nor no 0%
. both yes and no 0%
. don't understand the question? 0%
. none of the above 0%

Votes: 2
Results | Other Polls
My goal is to get my personal emissions to zero.

I don't have a solution to the methane and carbon dioxide emissions that come from being a human animal, but I can do other things.

  • Have signed up for "100% solar farm electricity" with the city utility department. That means my total net daily electricity is provided by panels in a solar panel farm, but it does not account for the electricity that actually comes from gas-fired generators at night.

  • Have replaced gas stove with electric. But still have gas furnace and water heater.

  • Am trying to get an electric car, which is hard because they are expensive and the waiting time is many months. On the other hand, there are quite a few used EVs available now. Teslas traded in because the new tech features demanded by Tesla fans makes a two year old car obsolete, and eGolfs traded in because the range is so low as to make long-distance car trips impractical. Still debating the pros and cons.

  • Have completely given up air travel, have gone on most of the Amtrak routes now which is entertaining.

  • Am trying to be a vegetarian which sounds great until you go to the restaurant and they have a chili verde pork burrito on the menu.

Converting every house in the world to full electric is going to be very tough.
by asdf on Wed Jan 19th, 2022 at 04:10:27 PM EST
You can offset your human CO2 and methane emissions by buying a bunch of trees from Heifer International or some other NGO that does tree-planting.   You might even be an early adopter by buying into this NFT (non-fungible token) idea:

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Wed Jan 19th, 2022 at 08:35:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
some other NGO that does tree-planting

Such as this one?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Jan 19th, 2022 at 11:09:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We did a major retrofit on my family home which included:
  1. Wrapping the entire building with 100 mm insulation boards
  2. Removing solid fuel stove and sealing chimney
  3. Installing underfloor heating where possible.
  4. Replacing all windows with triple glazing
  5. Replacing oil burning heating system with electric air based heat pump
  6. Installing heat exchanger ventilation and air filtration system
  7. Including the basement in the development with internal as opposed to external insulation boards
  8. Ensuring the entire building was airtight.
  9. Installing 18 solar panels and large battery pack

Expensive, but fortunately, there was a large government grant available.


  1. The house now has an A1 energy rating, making it one of the most energy efficient older houses in the country
  2. Electricity bills have increased marginally, but there is massive savings on oil and solid fuel
  3. The entire house is a comfortable 19 degrees in winter, making the entire house usable at all times, where previously only some rooms were heated.
  4. The basement is now included in the living area of the house enabling my Daughter, Son-in-love and grand-daughter to move in and providing workspaces for both son and daughter.
  5. Previous damp and mould problems eliminated
  6. A good conscience about not burning carbon!

The plan is to replace our current hybrid car when it reaches the end of its lifespan with a fully electric vehicle which can be charged from the solar panels and also act as an extra battery for the house.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 21st, 2022 at 12:58:14 PM EST
"Son-in-love" eh? Freudian.  :-)

That is an amazing example of the right thing to do. Problem is now to multiply it by the millions of existing old housing around the globe. My house is newer (1956) and not quite as tough to deal with, but the windows (double pane) are old and leaky, and the furnace is about ready to give up. But the subsidies are minimal and the costs high.

Electric cars are actually pretty easy (but expensive) because they are self-contained. A car charger (technically: EVSE) is a pretty easy installation, and the time-to-net-benefit is only around a year compared to a conventional car. So that is a no-brainer.

The next thing then is one's diet. Lots of diesel tractors out there plowing fields, trucks and ships and airplanes involved in delivery, etc.

And all of this assumes one has financial resources, stability, and the political or philosophical mindset to approach the situation aggressively. That will not apply to most people, I suspect.

by asdf on Fri Jan 21st, 2022 at 03:19:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jimmy Carter's 1979 energy plan called for insulating 90% of USAmerican homes to higher standards by 1985, which is more ambitious than anything I've read about in today's Green New Deal or Build Back Better:

I find it odd that environmentalists and politicians don't often mention that two of the fastest growing jobs are solar installer and wind energy tech and have been for at least the last 5 years here in USAmerica.  There are large projected growth numbers for jobs in building insulating and renovation too.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Fri Jan 21st, 2022 at 05:45:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are not married, so "Son-in-love" seems more appropriate than son-in-law.  I personally don't believe the sort of major retrofit we did is scaleable to the entire housing population because of the amount of labour and cost involved, even with generous government grants. We had the added benefit of increasing the effective size of the house which enabled another family to move in and work from home.

It was a pilot government scheme no longer in operation and I can see the government prioritising the most cost effective elements of the package to get better value for money and also to operate within the realistic labour constraints and capacity of the retrofit industry. What should be non negotiable is that all new builds should meet these standards, and especially public and commercial premises.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 21st, 2022 at 08:45:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My ubnderstanding is that both the EU and the state of California have legislated building standards that will be at or near net zero energy for ALL new construction by the year 2030.  Those building standard changes have already started to be phased in to construction.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Sat Jan 22nd, 2022 at 07:19:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gas stoves quietly leak lots of methane even when they are shut off. Just another example of a climate change component that is not adequately included in the net zero accounting calculations.

My pessimistic expectation is that we will find out that even the IPCC RCP 8.5 model uses low estimates for the forcing functions.

by asdf on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 03:43:03 PM EST
by Cat on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 12:57:05 AM EST

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