North American Way For Passive House-Based Near Zero Energy Buildings
In North America, passive building is becoming the foundation for NZEB because of its longstanding successful record, the proven effectiveness of a quantifiable energy performance standard and associated quality assurance programs. The focus is on designing climate specific airtight highly insulated building enclosures with integrated micro load mechanical systems first to meet stringent climate specific energy standards, then to add renewable energy sources to get close to zero, reach zero or overproduce and eventually zero out carbon. Balanced ventilation systems remain a central part of the design in the climate specific approach: in cold, mixed and hot climates alike with or without heat recovery a balanced ventilation system assists convection in the redistribution of heat gains and space conditioning loads. It has to be designed and specified according to climate. But first and foremost and common to all climates, its main purpose in airtight buildings -- as in the early days of passive housing -- is source control and fresh air distribution assuring good indoor air quality.
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