Ventilation, IAQ and Filtration in a Net Zero Energy House

Published: May 24, 2018


Andrew K. Persily, Lisa C. Ng, Dustin G. Poppendieck, Steven J. Emmerich


The Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF) was constructed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to support the development and adoption of cost-effective net zero energy designs and technologies. The 250 m2 two-story, unoccupied NZERTF, built in 2012, had the following design goals: meeting the comfort and functional needs of the occupants; siting to maximize renewable energy potential; establishing an airtight and highly insulated building enclosure designed for water and moisture control; providing controlled mechanical ventilation; and installing highly efficient mechanical equipment, lighting and appliances. The NZERTF achieved its goal of generating more energy than it consumed during its first year of simulated occupancy by a single family, despite a severe winter. The airtightness goal was achieved through detailed envelope design, careful construction, and during- and post-construction commissioning. The NZERTF is one of the tightest residential buildings in North America with a whole building pressurization test result of roughly 0.6 h-1 at 50 Pa. The ventilation goals were met with a heat recovery ventilator sized to comply with ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2010, which corresponds to roughly 40 L/s or 0.1 h-1 for this building. Low indoor contaminant levels were achieved through the careful selection of building materials. This paper describes the design and construction methods used to achieve such a tight building as well as the performance measurements made to verify that the building achieved its ventilation and indoor air quality (IAQ) goals.
Citation: Air Media Magazine
Pub Type: Others

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Net-Zero Energy, Ventilation, contaminant levels, airtightness, building envelope, indoor air quality.
Created May 24, 2018, Updated May 24, 2018