Not all architects in Michigan know how to build better than code buildings, but our office is leading the way in our market area in integrating higher performance buildings. First we can talk about net zero buildings. Sometimes with residential architecture we call this passive house, but passive house and net zero commercial buildings are all, the goal in mind is to be a net zero energy building
net zero we use the common understanding for net zero that states your building does not consume more energy in terms of electricity than it can produce. How is this done? Well, to answer that, let’s think about a typical house. You should. You use your house and I will describe my house. My house was built in 1932 before there was an Michigan Energy code, but as a beautiful colonial house in a neighborhood full of homes of the same age. My house has a full basement first and second floor and the simple gable roof. When it was originally built, it had wooden windows with one pane of glass and exterior wall and had no insulation. If you live in a house that was built before 1950 years, most likely is a lot like mine. Now, over the years, I have made some improvements to my home, namely in the envelope of the building, which is the exterior walls, roof and the basement walls that are in contact with the outside elements.
The envelope of your home keeps you warm and dry inside and should leave all the weather outside. I’ve added insulation in my attic and never replaced my old, drafty wooden windows with better ones that have two panes of glass. These measures and loan did not save me from the polar vortex, but I would not want to imagine how I would have survived without them. How can we improve the envelope of our homes and businesses? Why does it matter and how much more does it cost? Well, architects in Michigan can answer these questions for you with some more examples. The first example is to think about the envelope of your home or commercial building. There are four or five basic measures that can greatly improve the energy efficiency of your building. These can be done to retrofit existing buildings and are even easier in new construction
to implement these to make your building new or old and net zero building our office can help you. Architects in Michigan can use energy modeling services and three d virtual design models to do this for you. Number one, orientation. The orientation of rebuilding is critical for capturing the most out of our free energy source. The Sun in new buildings, you want to make sure you choose a site that has a good clear access to the south in our hemisphere and an existing try and clear as much of the trees and obstruction as you can’t. That’s it. The first step to net zero is carefully selecting your site. Architects in Michigan can help you do this. Number two, good. No great windows. It is highly recommended that you maximize your south facing walls with large, high performing double or even triple pane windows. As you move away from the sun, the windows of your house, you’d get smaller and by carefully chosen and smallest on the north side of your house, we can help you choose some really great windows that will work for your home architects in Michigan.
No many manufacturers that are making triple pane windows nowadays. Number three extra insulation. Did I say extra? I mean super crazy. High amounts of insulation in the walls, roof and in the basement walls to in order to create a net zero building architects in Michigan recommend to super insulate your home or your commercial project so that it’s just like wearing a thick parka. In the middle of winter. You have a big thick layer of insulation barrier between your body and the outside elements. This helps you protect you, keep you warm and keeps you a separated from outside weather and a buffer from the stress of bad weather. Number four, air tightness. Architects in Michigan recommend that you try and make your building as airtight as possible. Whenever a new building or an existing building, our modified or an in construction, there’s a lot of nails, screws, uh, holes cut into the building for walls and doors and windows and all these openings can make very drafty buildings. You know, all the different holes. Uh, create cracks and leaks potential for air to infiltrate from the outside. Just like wearing that extra layer of insulation. You want to make sure you have an airtight building that is separating, you know, maintaining the outside, outside and the inside, if you know what I mean. We can help you develop an airtight building envelope to better meet your needs and make sure that your building becomes a net zero. Building number five, ventilation.
Once you have a very airtight building where there’s very little air leakage infiltration from the outside and leaking in from into the outside hard, I put that um, now that you’re building doesn’t have as much air infiltration leaking through your building, you want to make sure that it’s well ventilated. A well ventilated building means that you have 100% fresh air coming into the building at all times, but you don’t want to do this just by opening a window in the wintertime or even in the summertime when it’s really hot. You want to be, make sure that that air is tempered. And in order to do that, architects in Michigan recommend using an energy recovery ventilator, which transfers the heat energy from the stale air, leaving the house to the fresh air coming into the house. And this makes all that fresh air room temperature and ready to be filtered through your house and it never mixes and makes a low quality stale air. So that’s a positive for you.
Sedgewick and Ferweda Architects can definitely help you design a net zero building from the ground up, or if you want to do an energy retrofit to the building, we can do that for you as well. Architects in Michigan are the best at modeling for energy and modeling for design.