Abundant Energy In Harmony With Nature ®
Passive-Solar Heating and Cooling + Clean, Green, Non-Polluting, Safe, Daily-Renewable, Free-Fuel Energy
Zero Emissions Lifestyle - Cost-Effective NEVER BURN ANYTHING: No Pollution or Global Warming Coal, Oil, Gas, Biomass, Wood, or Deadly Nuclear Waste
Anything with any energy bills at all is clearly NOT "Zero Energy"
Beware the recent ineffective imitators
What Is Zero Energy Design® ?
Zero Energy Design® Means NO Annual Net Energy Utility Bills - Zero, Zip, Zilch, Nada. It should be clear that any imitation of Zero Energy Design® with ANY annual net energy bills at all is NOT "ZERO ENERGY."
Zero Energy Design® is a registered-trademark Holistic Integrated Systems-Engineering Process - developed and demonstrated effectively in 1979 by Larry Hartweg (a widely-recognized successful second-generation Energy Research Scientist) with support from the new U.S. Department of Energy - following the significant impact of the 1973-1979 OPEC Oil Embargoes.
ZED is based on ABUNDANT Energy In Harmony With Nature® (not energy austerity)
Hartweg's first 1979 Zero Energy Design® 5,000 sq.ft. personal residence included a large swimming pool in a greenhouse, where he raised some of his own tropical food year round. This beautiful sunny ZED home heated and cooled itself when it was -10O F to +110O F outside. The solar-heated pool was 88-to-90O F with heavy winter snow on the ground.
Hartweg's unique cost-effective creativity received widespread television and print publicity.
Where were you in 1979? Did your home have conventional utility bills? Do you today?
Zero Energy Design® has learned many important lessons since 1979 (that are documented in detail in our 5,000+ page encyclopedic eBook downloadable materials, which have been studied by concerned architects, progressive builders, ecocity community planners, environmentalists, and prospective building owners in 134 countries worldwide).
Zero Energy Design® IS 100% ZERO EMISSIONS - NEVER BURN ANYTHING !
Zero Energy Design® is the 100% ELIMINATION of ALL burning of unsustainable, highly-polluting: coal, oil, gas, wood, AND the end of generating deadly radioactive byproducts of nuclear fission. See Nuclear Energy Insanity
American Institute of Architects® (AIA) U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified Architects are fraudulent deceivers. If this was not true, I could not say it. AIA USGBC LEED architects are most-certainly NOT ENERGY EFFICIENCY LEADERS! They have NOT yet understood thirty-year-old Zero Energy Design®. How many cost-effective LEED buildings have you seen with ZERO Energy Bills? Zero Energy Design® true leadership began in 1979. AIA USGBC LEED does not even qualify as being a good energy-efficiency follower, much less leader.
AIA USGBC LEED does NOT seem to have a clue what "ZERO Energy" really means, or how to do true Zero Energy Design®, despite their misleading "GREENWASH." See Emerald Green Is More Precious Than Greenwash for details. LEED architects tend to design conventional inefficient buildings (with indiscriminate placement of windows, too many corners, ignoring the path of the Sun, etc.). And then, the inept architects leave the issues of energy efficiency up to subcontractors, who do pretty-much their same old inefficient business-as-usual. They may add some expensive ugly afterthought solar panels on their inefficient roof design. "Group think" AIA architects give each other LEED certification, and undeserved awards for their inefficiency-as-usual - inability to reduce energy bills to ZERO.
Some AIA USGBC LEED-Certified buildings have energy bills as bad as conventional construction, and yet, uninformed, unskeptical, building buyers (with no powers of observation or understanding of "ZERO Energy") are still foolishly following BAD ARCHITECTRE LEED.
AIA admitted that they are THE source of the World's Worst Waste of Energy and Global Warming Greenhouse Gas Emissions: See AIA "Architects and Climate Change" Report
The USGBC LEED Johnny-Come-Lately imitators of proven "zero energy" only HOPE to achieve by 2030 what Zero Energy Design® has demonstrated since 1979. Architecture 2030
HOWEVER, the AIA has arrogantly ignored constructive criticism from the U.S. Department of Energy and Zero Energy Design® for over three decades, and AIA USGBC LEED still does NOT seem to understand that "ZERO Energy" means NO Energy Bills At All, and ZERO Emissions - Never Burn Anything. If AIA architects and builders had paid attention to the U.S. Department of Energy and Zero Energy Design® in 1980, America would now be spending at least 1/4 Trillion Dollars LESS for energy bills every year. Ignoring proven off-the-shelf "ZERO Energy" science is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE.
Since 1979, we have demonstrated that Zero Energy Design® can cost LESS per square foot than inefficient conventional construction . . . Read on to learn HOW.
Inefficient Use Of Building Energy Is Arguably THE Most Important Issue Facing The Entire World Today - It Impacts Most Of What Humans Do Every Day
ENERGY IS THE ESSENCE OF EVERYTHING
Nothing in the universe can exist without energy, from the smallest imaginable sub-atomic vibrating superstrings, to the largest of all super galaxies.
At the human scale, we must consume stored chemical energy in the form of nutritious food. The energy to grow plants is radiated from the Sun (about 93 million miles away). Plants convert solar energy into a form that animals and humans can digest.
Our world is full of various processes and machines that convert energy from one useful form to another. New energy-dependent man-made technology Innovations seem to be endless. Our future depends on a growing supply of low-cost clean energy.
We need many forms of energy to grow and transport our food. We need other forms of energy to heat and cool our buildings, so we can survive in a variety of climatic extremes. Energy for buildings is The Number One Top Priority opportunity for large reduction of inefficient energy consumption in America.
I am Larry Hartweg - A successful second-generation energy research scientist. My professional innovations generated over $100 Billion in new revenue for those who have used my R&D services.
I grew up in what was then The Energy Capital of the World, in the prosperous city with the highest per-capita of millionaires. My mother was pure love and affection. My genius scientist father inspired me to pursue: "Lifelong learning in an ever-expanding universe of endless possibilities."
I was surrounded with great respect for Physics, creativity, the bountiful Laws of Nature, and the generous Creator of the Universe. In my professional career I have been a consultant to a broad spectrum of rapid-growth technology companies.
I watched the 1973 - 1979 OPEC Oil Embargoes create double-digit man-made runaway inflation in our shortsighted non-learning nation. The value of the U.S. dollar fell rapidly (as it has been doing again since 2001 extreme fiscal irresponsibility and $4 gasoline in 2008).
In the 1970's, USA real estate was one of the best of all reliable investments. I wanted to build a large luxury home that would make vacation travel unnecessary.
I worked in one of the nation's most-successful energy research labs (with over 500 PhD's). The scientists around me said that I should not invest in a big house with escalating energy bills. I agreed with them, SO . . .
I developed my unique Zero Energy Design® process for my own solar home in 1979
It was a 5,000 sq.ft. home on a tree-covered hill near a PGA golf course, with 1,000 sq.ft. of south-facing glass enclosing our year-round indoor swimming pool. Our innovative 1979 Zero Energy Design® home heated and cooled itself in a climate that had +110O F humid summers and -10O F snowy winters.
I was a Senior Energy Research Scientist. I had no formal training in architecture that would have caused me to think as conventional energy-inefficient architects have always done before. I have hired AIA architects and trained trained them in Zero Energy Design®. It is truly amazing to me what terrible things their professors impose on them that MUST BE LABORIOUSLY UNLEARNED.
"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." - Alvin Toffler - Rethinking the Future
With respect to issues of energy-efficient design, the $200 "Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice" from the American Institute of Architects should be permanently banned from all publicly-funded schools. It is actually a Handbook OF MALpractice, which created the world's worst waste of unsustainable highly-polluting energy in the history of humanity.
It should be a felony to teach some of the things that inept AIA professors still impose on their innocent unskeptical architecture students, since AIA business-as-usual apparently causes PERMANENT BRAIN DAMAGE. ("We are AIA Architects ® - Therefore we know everything" - The arrogant attitude of the documented-and-admitted world's worst source of BAD ENERGY ARCHITECTURE!)
It can take me a year to retrain AIA USGBC LEED-Architects to understand Zero Energy Design® - Some recent AIA graduates realize that their university education essentially ignored "ZERO Energy", but some AIA architects NEVER Learn The Truth - Their brain damage seems to be irreversible. (See our Differentiating Characteristics on this webpage below.)
When business-as-usual is obviously failing, innovators must UNLEARN THE PAST BEFORE PROGRESS CAN BE MADE. Since I was unfamiliar with yesteryear's stupid inefficient architecture when I created Zero Energy Design® in 1979, I was decades ahead of my time, (and apparently still am today - smile).
Zero Energy Design® has been continually improving for over three decades.
Zero Energy Design® has been poorly-imitated by arrogant AIA USGBC LEED-Architect Johnny-Come-Late greenwash pretenders, but most of them clearly do NOT have a clue about the First Principles that we discuss below. They don't seem to understand that "ZERO Energy" means NO Energy Bills At All.
Zero Energy Design® is NOT hard to implement. It is just very-different from conventional architecture, as we will discuss in more specific detail below.
There is no such thing as a Zero Energy Design® "stock house plan." Every one in a different area requires location-specific detailed computer modeling for the climatic conditions, available sunshine, orientation, building shape, windows, budget, and goals of the owner. A well-designed truly "zero energy" building for Calgary Canada would NOT work well in Orlando Florida or Sydney Australia. There can never be a "one size fits all."
Since 1979, we have designed hundreds of proven zero energy homes in many worldwide locations. With support from President Carter's new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), I became the largest exhibitor at the large National Energy Expositions, and I was their most-popular proven presenter.
Recently, U.S. DOE and Oakridge National Labs selected me to be the featured all-day presenter for my popular: Zero Energy Design® "Three Decades of Lessons Learned" Workshop at their prestigious International Buildings Conference. I am the ONLY person qualified to make such a comprehensive presentation, based on a lifetime of successful personal experience.
My brilliant wife (Rose) and I are now obsessed with the development of our detailed $77 billion Emerald Eco-City proposal - World's Largest Construction Project. It is planned to become a totally-self-sustaining, energy-independent, Zero Energy Design® megacity of a million prosperous people (only $77,000 per person for: Living and Work Space, Local Food-Production Aquaponics Greenhouses, World's Largest Theme Park and Sustainability University - including totally-self-sufficient FREE FUEL Green Energy).
Nothing in the entire world even begins to come close. When sea level rises, and coastal cities around the world begin to go underwater, where will billions of homeless (formerly-wealth) people turn? There is no existing megacity on our entire planet that should be imitated in the future. Humanity has an immediate need to immediately demonstrate all of the highly-integrated Economies Of Scale in our unique Zero Energy Design® Emerald Eco-City.
Overspecialization Can Prevent Integrated Solutions
Specialists must learn more-and-more about less-and-less, until they become totally useless when they know everything about nothing at all. (smile)
Our non-learning world is now so chaotically complex and super-specialized that very few people can see The Big Picture, or think about Large-Scale Innovative Integrated Sustainable Solutions. Our ineffective self-proclaimed "leaders" are overwhelmed with far-too-many details. They almost-always lack elevated holistic perspective.
An Anecdotal Mystical Medical Parable To Help You Understand The Negative Impact Of Overspecialization: I've seen several medical specialists over the years and no two of them agree about my diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment - even when I tell them what the other specialists said. One specialist prescribes a powerful drug; the next specialist says "If you take that it will kill you!." They call it "Medical Arts"(I call it Placebo-Effect Voodoo). Doctors are"in practice"- because they never do get it right!(chuckle) They are forced to see four patients per hour and never get to know the cause-and-effect of their symptoms. "We are what we eat" but very-few medical doctors know much about the cause-and-effect of American nutrition.
In a similar manner, ENERGY EFFICIENCY is one of the most important of all Architecture issues, BUT, AIA Architects receive almost NO formal training in the first principles of Zero Energy Design®. Ask your next architect these five fundamental questions before you pay a penny for BAD ARCHITECTURE: (1) Precisely where does the Sun rise and set in the Summer and Winter in your location. (2) How do Conduction, Convection, and Radiation differ? (3) How do Passive Solar Heating and Cooling work? (4) What are your personal utility bills? (5) How many cost-effective buildings have you designed with ZERO ENERGY BILLS?
"The world has become so complicated that we're all bluffing our way through the business day, hoping we're not unmasked for the BOOBS we really are. I see the world as a Massively Absurd Endeavor, populated by people who struggle every minute to rationalize the silly things they do." - Scott Adams - The Dilbert Principle - Have FUN: Unmask a non-learning, inept Politician, Medical Doctor, or AIA Architect BOOB today!
Just like YOU must know more about your family's life-giving nutrition than most doctors do, YOU must also know more about the issues of Zero Energy Design® than most AIA Architects do. It should NOT be this way, but in a non-learning world of arrogant, incorrect, specialized professionals, it is.
"it is not what we don't know that hurts - it is what we know that just ain't so"
- Will Rogers - Political Satirist and the most-popular movie star of the 1930's
We should learn these life-critical lessons from unsustainable medical malpractice,
and apply them to architecture, politics, and integrated energy policy
Success in multiple major areas can elevate us to see other
higher-and-wider panoramic innovation opportunities
We want the entire world to share our sustainable success,
in harmony with Nature.
"Love thy neighbor as thyself."
"Want for your brother what you want for yourself."
"Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man.
... Man can be as big as he wants.
No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings."
- President John F. Kennedy
We need more intelligent people to THINK BIG, instead of taking a BIG NAP
In our UNSUSTAINABLE SOCIETY, Inaction Is IMMORAL and SUICIDAL
Failure to solve man-made problems with proven off-the-shelf solutions is Non-Learning Intellectual Laziness
Future technologies will help, but we need problem solvers with functional brains MORE than new technologies
"We are what we imagine.
Everything we will become begins with our imagination.
With our images we make the world."
- Buddha - 3,000 years ago
Since 1979, Zero Energy Design® has meant NO net annual energy utility bills. Small-scale partial-solution thinking with any ongoing energy bills is obviously NOT "ZERO Energy"(despite what deceptive Johnny-Come-Lately clueless greenwash AIA USGBC LEED architects call what they are doing).
Zero Energy Design® relies heavily on 80% energy efficiency improvement, plus multiple forms of cost-effective, off-the-shelf, clean, green, safe, abundant, daily-renewable, FREE-FUEL ENERGY, such as sunshine (for heating, cooling and electricity), wind, geothermal, and the movement of water (in streams, rivers, dams, tides, waves, and powerful ocean currents).
Worldwide Energy Challenges That MUST Be Solved Soon
The following lists many serious energy problems that the world faces today. Please be assured that Zero Energy Design® offers off-the-shelf PROVEN cost-effective solutions TODAY to everything we discuss in our material - Do not despair - Rejoice!
The escalating price of energy impacts low income people the most. USA is very-dependent on unsustainable declining imported oil, which has led to the largest transfer of wealth in human history, bad pollution, and deadly, avoidable, trillion-dollar, oil-related war.
The products on American supermarket shelves travel an average of more than 1,500 miles on increasingly-expensive imported oil. When the pump price of petroleum increased more than 25% in 2010, the price of many food products escalated 50%.
The price of basic essential food commodities like wheat (in the Middle East and elsewhere) shot up 70%. People living on about $2 per day could no longer afford even simple bread to eat. The resulting riots toppled kingdoms and dictatorships.
America's insane subsidy of inefficiently converting corn into ethanol for 10% of our gasoline drove up the worldwide price of corn. There were major riots in Mexico when they could no longer afford tortillas.
America is only 4.5% of world population, but we selfishly consume 25% of the world's oil production, and we emit 25% of the world's climate-changing pollution.
USA STILL inefficiently burns imported oil to produce some of our electricity. This should be illegal !
25 of our states still rely heavily on imported oil to heat their catastrophically-designed obsolete northern homes, foolishly ignoring FREE sunshine, and contributing to many problems around the world today.
The total negative impact of modern man's terrible energy waste is truly horrific - all things considered. BUILDINGS (designed by inept Architects) are the Number One deadly waste of energy in America.
When anyone unnecessarily wastes unsustainable oil, starvation increases around the world. The United Nations says that 4 Billion people on Earth are now malnourished, and over a Billion have less than one cup of coarse grain a day to live on. When oil made many food commodity prices increase, many more starved to death, while gluttonous Americans eat food from around the world, drive inefficient SUV's, don't mind living in energy-disaster homes, and suffer from life-shortening obesity.
When you pay your high utility bills, think of the poor children that your foolish inefficiency helped kill that month. Zero Energy Design® frees up energy resources required to reduce worldwide starvation. Failure to significantly reduce your energy bills is not just expensive, it is also very immoral.
Even if you are wealthy, and you think you can well-afford to pay high utility bills, do you really want to continue uselessly wasting finite unsustainable energy resources needed to provide food for starving children?
There are no tax deductions for high energy bills - No return on investment for money paid to utility companies (you just increase their profits). Utility bills are your hard-earned money down the drain EVERY MONTH FOR THE LIFE OF YOUR HOME. Over a lifetime, you are throwing away more money than the largest Social Security pension will ever pay, damaging the environment, killing children, and stealing from your own grandchildren. Is this the legacy that YOU WANT TO LEAVE.
In contrast, a small investment in improved energy efficiency has a LARGE return on investment.
There are more than a thousand things you could do to slash your energy bills.
Do the most cost-effective ones first - Our material shows you HOW and WHY.
How long will you refuse to use the sunshine that falls for free on your home every day?
You do NOT need expensive photovoltaic solar panels -
You just need ordinary window glass AND intelligent, proven, Zero Energy Design®
Click on Passive Solar Heating on the left above for a short video intro. Then click on the lower-right arrows to enlarge the image to full screen. At the end of the video push your Esc key, and then click on your web browser's Back function to return to this webpage.
Come back and visit us whenever your like - No cost to you - No registration required.
We donate the time and expense of our websites for the betterment of the world.
We gather no personal information. We leave no "cookies" on your machine,
and we never spam anyone. You may safely check out our other websites for free.
We hope you enjoy our life's work, which is our valuable legacy to a very-needy world.
It takes time and effort to assimilate our three-decades of Zero Energy Design® material.
The initiative and motivation are your own. Living in Harmony with Nature:
"I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me." - Proverbs 8:17
Zero Energy Design® wants our world to enjoy Abundant Life in Harmony with Nature -
Having been greatly blessed with success by God, we offer our gift of knowledge in return.
Carbon-based fuels (burning coal, oil, gas, biofuels and biomass like wood), PLUS hazardous nuclear-energy waste, have badly polluted our planet. Terrible energy policies have driven the United States deep into unpayable national debt, which will burden our grandchildren for many decades to come. 40% of every dollar we spend is now unsustainably borrowed. Our international lending sources are drying up. How much do you think Japan will loan USA after their March 2011 catastrophe?
The rising cost of unsustainable energy consumes public money that could otherwise be used to stimulate the creation of good local jobs, reduce poverty, and provide: food, homes, better education and health care for tens of millions of worthy Americans.
Much attention has been paid to the inefficiency of our heavy American SUV’s (with only one person most of the time), and the question of how we will provide affordable fuel for gas guzzlers in the future.
BUT, BUILDINGS waste far more energy (39+%) in the U.S. than Transportation (28%) OR Industry (32%).
Buildings waste 70% of our electricity, which contributes greatly to atmospheric pollution.
If American buildings were only 20% more efficient, we would NOT NEED ANY POTENTIALLY-DEADLY NUCLEAR ENERGY AT ALL.
Instead of wasting $100 Billion of corrupt subsidies for dirty power plants, we need Zero Energy Design® Buildings (either cost-effective deep energy retrofits or "zero energy" new construction).
70% to 90% of the energy consumed by most buildings that are still being built today is WASTED USELESSLY by inefficient design and construction. Eliminating energy waste (and high energy bills) should therefore be our Number One Political Priority, which has the POTENTIAL to greatly reduce the extent of MANY other modern worldwide economic, environmental, and political problems.
In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2454 by a wide margin. It would have significantly improved energy-efficient building codes nationwide. After supporting such a bill in the 2008 election campaign, John McCain flip flopped. At the command of energy-industry lobbyists, ALL 40 Republican Senators voted as one. They used and abused their minority filibuster power to block passage of 2009 H.R. 2454. If only ONE Republican had voted for H.R. 2454, it would have passed and been signed into law in 2009. The majority of Americans wanted it to pass. Organized-crime corruption is clearly the ONLY reason it did not.
The energy-industry lobbyists that "own" all Republican Senators do NOT want improved energy efficiency for cars or buildings. They fought improved C.A.F.E. mpg standard, and building codes. Profiteering energy companies want to sell more of their product, especially off-peak base load capacity year round. The higher the demand for energy, the higher the price becomes, and the higher energy company PROFITS will be. Their logic is simple - The political solution has eluded us for forty years.
After the terrible 1973 - 1979 OPEC oil embargoes drove the pump price of gasoline up from $0.20 to $1.20 per gallon (600% in only six years), EVERY ONE OF OUR LAST EIGHT PRESIDENTS HAVE PROMISED "ENERGY INDEPENDENCE" from unsustainable expensive imported foreign oil. The Truth is that our foreign oil imports more than doubled!
When I demonstrated the Scientific Truth of Zero Energy Design® in my own 5,000 luxury home in 1979, and I became the largest exhibitor and most-popular presenter at the large National Energy Expositions, I had good reason to believe that soon all future new buildings would be ZERO ENERGY. I was quite wrong. This reason has nothing to do with technology. It has everything to do with political corruption.
LESSON LEARNED LONG AGO: If a corrupt politician promises one thing, most of the time
YOU CAN SAFELY BET YOUR LIFETIME SAVINGS THAT THE EXACT OPPOSITE WILL HAPPEN !
Clearly, Congressional Corruption is THE reason American cars and homes are not more efficient today.
Do you think the Republican House of Representatives will even allow a vote on improved energy efficiency today?
In 2011, Republican H.R. Number 1 included slashing the funding for the very-cost-effective
U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program (DOE / WAP), which has
reduced the energy consumption on 6.5 million American homes by an average of 31%.
ENERGY-CORRUPTED REPUBLICANS HAVE ALWAYS FOUGHT HARD AGAINST ENERGY EFFICIENCY.
Is this the kind of moronic leadership that our depressed nation needs during our current energy crisis?
Republicans are NOT alone in their corruption by energy-industry lobbyists:
In 2009, contributions to Obama resulted in his support for dirty dead-end coal, oil, and nuclear energy.
The Outstanding GOOD NEWS is that the Number One Solution to our Number One Problem is NOT difficult to implement – It is just very different than conventional wasteful architecture and construction.
Zero Energy Design® proven solutions do NOT require government funding. For decades, our beautiful sunny solutions have been off-the-shelf, cost-effective on their own.
We can NOT expect the organized-crime politicians who created our current energy crisis to solve it.
Oh Happy Day: The Emerald-Green movement can begin at the green grass roots. All we need is a few more consumers who understand the Scientific Truth about clean, green, safe, abundant FREE-FUEL energy. Anything less is unsustainable, which implies "suicidal."
Zero Energy Design® Process and First Principles
Beware of Today's Johnny-Come-Lately Fraudulent Zero Energy Imposters
Since the first 1978 DOE Solar Energy Tax Credits, Larry Hartweg has demonstrated how to Eliminate Energy Bills with Zero Energy Design®. Hartweg is one of the world’s foremost experienced authorities on the subject. (Others from the 1980s are no longer in business.)
The U.S. Department Of Energy and Oakridge National Labs selected Hartweg to present his popular all-day workshop: “Three Decades Of Lessons Learned” at their prestigious International Buildings Conference. No one else is qualified to make such a presentation. Thousands of slides from Hartweg's outstanding workshops are included with his encyclopedic eBook materials.
Larry Hartweg's Zero Energy Design® eBook has much-more detailed information about exactly HOW to eliminate energy bills.
Zero Energy Design® combines extreme 80% energy conservation with cost-effective existing off-the-shelf solar energy technology, starting with ordinary window glass. ZED is NOT energy austerity.
Zero Energy Design® provides Abundant Energy In Harmony with Nature®
Our world does NOT have to wait for the development of new energy technology
What we need is better education about what ZED knew how to do decades ago
If you are interested in cost-effective, proven, government-subsidized ways to ELIMINATE energy bills, harmful carbon emissions, and man-made damage to Earth’s fragile environment, you will appreciate our unique comprehensive eBook compilation.
You should begin by viewing the free public information and pictures on ZeroEnergyDesign.com and EmeraldEcoCity.com. Our registered trademark “Abundant Energy In Harmony With Nature” is based on 80%-improved energy efficiency, plus a plentiful supply of clean, green, safe, FREE-FUEL energy from the sun, wind, geothermal and hydrokinetic energy sources - eliminating utility bills.
Ten Mission-Critical Zero Energy Design® Differentiating Characteristics
Hundreds of years ago, before the first electrical power grid and public utility companies, all buildings were "off the grid", but they were NOT Zero Energy Design®.
(1) Modern Zero Energy Design® means that either: (a) The building (or entire Emerald Eco-City) is completely off-the-grid self-sufficient, OR that (b) It is grid-connected but produces MORE energy than it consumes and sells energy back to the utility company, resulting in ZERO net annual utility bills, or even a possible yearly profit (as Emerald Eco-City will do).
It is fraudulent misrepresentation for anyone to falsely claim that a building with utility bills is "zero energy", when it obviously is NOT. "ZERO ENERGY" CLEARLY STATES "NO NET ENERGY BILLS." Which part of "ZERO Energy" do the newcomer architect deceivers not understand? A 15% to 50% reduction in energy bills is NOT "ZERO ENERGY."
BEWARE the profit-motivated Johnny-Come-Lately LEED Architect LIARS who want to deceive you about "Zero Energy."
Members of the American Institute of Architects® have admitted being the source of the worst waste of expensive energy in America. They KNOW they have to do MUCH BETTER, but they obviously do not know HOW. They are now trying to reinvent the wheel - and they are doing a very bad job. See AIA "Architects and Climate Change" Report
The AIA created their expensive USGBC / LEED certification program in an attempt to change their image about being the source of the world's worst source of energy waste. USGBC LEED-Certification is unsubstantiated AIA public relations marketing hyperbole, NOT cost-effective energy-consumption-reduction science.
Studies that compared "apples to apples" have shown that the average recently-built LEED-certified buildings reduce energy consumption roughly 15% or less, compared to modern conventional construction. LEED IS NOWHERE CLOSE TO "ZERO ENERGY".
Joe Lstiburek is an ardent AIA USGBC LEED critic. He is a licensed engineer and principal of Massachusetts-based Building Science Consulting. Lstiburek says that the USGBC LEED building-rating system is a deceptive SHAM. LEED-certified buildings are little-more efficient than typical structures built in the 1960s. In fact, Lstiburek said, poorly-designed LEED-certified structures such as the Seattle City Hall, a building on the Yale University campus, and an office building in New York are below-mediocre "energy pigs."
DO NOT BE DECEIVED BY THE PERVASIVE AIA USGBC LEED-CERTIFICATION SHAM !
In contrast to today's LEED, the U.S. Department of Energy has been demonstrating the Weatherization Assistance Program http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/wap.html for over three decades, since 1977. For minimal cost, they have reduced the energy consumption of 6.5 million (American-architect-designed) homes by an average of 31%. Most monitored AIA USGBC LEED-certified buildings do NOT reduce energy waste as much as 1977 DOE / WAP, which costs SIGNIFICANTLY LESS than useless LEED-Certification.
HYPOCRITICAL AIA USGBC LEED CERTIFICATION IS ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE CLOSE TO "ZERO ENERGY."
Ask your next architect and builder if they live in a home (or work in a building) that has utility bills.
My research-scientist father often said: "Don't ask a bald barber how to keep from losing your hair."
(2) Modern Zero Energy Design® means ZERO EMISSIONS - NEVER BURN ANYTHING.
Any building that burns anything for any reason is NOT Zero Energy Design® - regardless of the fraudulent misrepresentation by Johnny-Come-Lately imitators of Larry Hartweg's unique work. Buildings with annual net utility bills are NOT Zero Energy Design®. BEWARE THE FRAUDULENT AIA JOHNNY-COME-LATELY IMITATORS. Do not compromise with architects who have created the worst problem facing the world today - Bad Building Architecture.
Any building that burns coal, oil, natural gas, propane, biofuels, or biomass such as wood, limbs, paper, dung, etc. IS NOT ZERO EMISSIONS Zero Energy Design®
A fireplace is one of the very-worst polluting, energy-inefficient things that uninformed Architects foolishly design into conventional homes. Wood-burning fireplaces are responsible for killing billions of life-giving, CO2-sequentering trees. Two billion homes that burn wood for cooking and heating are a major source of unhealthy pollution and Global Warming / man-made climate change.
Fireplace chimneys constantly draw comfortable clean conditioned air out of a badly-designed building 24-hours-a-day, 365-days a year, which must then be replaced with unconditioned outside dirty air, pollution, allergenic pollen, dust, dust mites, insects and microorganisms. A fireplace can greatly increase your annual utility bills, AND make your interior air quality much worse.
Progressive cities (with high air pollution) are implementing fireplace bans, while non-learning AIA USGBC LEED authors (like Eric Corey Freed) still recommend new-construction fireplaces. Freed has been influencing LEED standards for over 18 years, while ignoring proven U.S. DOE and Zero Energy Design® recommendations.
Burning anything is the complete opposite of healthy modern Zero Energy Design® first principles. DO NOT BE DECEIVED BY LIARS!
All byproducts of combustion are unhealthy for building occupants and bad for Earth's delicate declining environment.
Why would anyone spend money to burn highly-polluting expensive fuel, when FREE-FUEL is abundantly available from the Sun, etc. and the Zero Energy Design® technology was proven to be very-cost-effective, and off-the-shelf in 1979? Answer: Bad Architecture!
(3) ZED Passive Solar Heating uses Earth's most-abundant energy resource (the Sun) to eliminate the need for conventional winter heating bills. (Click on our Passive Solar Heating video on the left). Although the design issues are complex (requiring local-climate computer modeling), Passive Solar Heating is extremely simple to construct - All that you need is well-designed, inexpensive, ordinary window glass (and a well-trained functional brain)
Critical elements of the use of glass on Zero Energy Design® buildings include: (a) greatly reduce or eliminate the use of windows on the non-equator-facing (especially west) side of the building (in areas that require air conditioning); (b) Never, NEVER, N E V E R, use roof-angled glass or skylights for ANY reason, in any geographical region, or any season - In the winter, warm air rises and is lost through the glass - cooling the building - In the summer, roof-angled glass is a terrible solar furnace. If you see the work of LEED architects that has a lot of indiscriminate use of north, east, west glass or skylights - They are clearly oblivious to the first principles of Zero Energy Design®.
In locations with significant winter heating requirements (high heating degree days), equator-facing exterior glass should be high emissivity, low-lead, no coating (to allow maximum solar gain).
Equator-facing glass should be isolated from the main living quarters in a beautiful greenhouse / solarium that brings cheery daylight and a pleasant view into most rooms of the Zero Energy Design® building. A large area of glass should NOT be incorporated directly in the interior living quarters anywhere on the home, since it is a significant undesirable heat transfer problem on winter nights and hot summer days.
In Northern Hemisphere buildings, the south side faces the equator. There should be no shade obstructions on the equator side of a Zero Energy Design® building with significant winter heating requirements.
In contrast, all non-equator-facing glass should generally be low emissivity, well-insulated glass (with window quilts or insulated interior shutters). The design of location-specific overhangs, and movable awnings / shade screens are important Zero Energy Design® elements.
(4)Zero Energy Design® Natural Convection Control. When air is heated, its molecules move farther apart, and thus it becomes less dense. Warmer air rises like a hot-air balloon, or smoke up a chimney. This principle of Fluid Mechanics is called "buoyancy." Conversely, cooler air naturally falls to the lowest point in a room. You must heat a room from the top down, and cool a room from the bottom up.
Conventional architects like to design two-story homes with 20-foot-high ceilings and sweeping open staircases. This is one of the reasons that their buildings require large energy bills. Natural-convection air flow makes the upstairs too hot and the downstairs uncomfortably chilly cold - every day of the year - summer and winter. There is no proven "zero energy" simple solution offered by any conventional architect that I have seen so far.
In contrast, our two-story Zero Energy Design® buildings do NOT have inefficient 20-foot-high ceilings in the interior living space.
Since 1979, all of our staircases have always had a door - to block uncomfortable convective air stratification. This no-added-cost ZED solution essentially eliminates the need for expensive multiple-zone forced-air systems to balance the temperature of upper and lower interior living spaces.
When you see a 20-foot-high ceiling, it is NOT Zero Energy Design®. We do many other things to control AND take advantage of natural convection.
(5) Zero Energy Design® "Thermal Buffer Zone" (ZED / TBZ) tm. We previously said in (3) above: "south-facing exterior glass should be HIGH emissivity, isolated from the main living quarters in a beautiful greenhouse / solarium." In our first 5,000 sq.ft. luxury Zero Energy Design® personal residence in 1979, our solarium included a solar-heated indoor swimming pool, which has been a popular feature requested by many others who love our three-decade-old creativity.
Many people like an 8-foot hot tub or a 16-foot swim spa in smaller ZED solariums, or a south-facing greenhouse for growing year-round fresh food and exotic tropical flowers.
These seem like inefficient home energy features, BUT, when integrated with our other Zero Energy Design® first principles, a well-designed greenhouse / solarium is a primary element in eliminating year-round energy bills. Let me put it this way: Would you rather have an indoor swimming pool or for about the same investment have an expensive central heating and cooling system for YOUR conventional home? Have you ever had an AIA USGBC LEED architect ask you such a question? How would you answer?
Our more-detailed materials explain in great detail exactly how our ZED / TBZ works. Think of a house as a 6-sided object. Our TBZ wraps 4 of them: south, attic, north, and below the floor. With NO FANS, THERMOSTATS, OR ELECTRICITY, it uses Natural Convection to rapidly move large-volumes of solar-heated air from the warm solarium to the cold north side of the home in the winter. On winter nights and summer days, the ZED / TBZ uses ambient-temperature earth to create a temperature between the harsh exterior temperatures, and the comfortable interior living quarters. Very few AIA USGBC LEED architects have a clue HOW or WHY to do this, even though we published in in 1980, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy. We were the largest exhibitor and most-popular speaker at the huge National Energy Expositions, but AIA largely ignored DOE and DOE. Now the USGBC / LEED is trying to reinvent our 30-year-old ZED wheel, doing a terrible job, and claiming a 15% reduction in energy bills to be "zero energy" - Lair, Liar, Pants On Fire!
(6) ZED Passive Solar Cooling is the opposite of Passive Solar Heating - Our proven solution is to BLOCK downward heat flow from the Sun, and remove unwanted interior heat - replacing it with FILTERED, PRECONDITIONED FRESH AIR. The word "Passive" means no need for expensive compressor-based air conditioning systems, etc..
Our first 1979 ZED home worked very well in 110O F humid summer heat, and in -10O F sub-freezing winter snow - We swam year-round in our comfortable TBZ swimming pool.
Our ZED Passive Solar Cooling details are more complex than Passive Solar Heating (topic (3) above). Making it work well and inexpensively in a hot humid climate is the Crowning Achievement of our unique Zero Energy Design® Holistic Systems Engineering process, which we discuss in complete detail in our materials.
Here is one direct measurement that can help you understand ZED Passive Solar Cooling. On a hot summer day, take a thermometer into the attic of your home. IF the temperature in your attic is hotter than the peak outside air temperature, your home was designed and constructed by people who didn't have the first clue about Zero Energy Design®.
When it was 110O F outside on a sunny summer day, the attic of our first 1979 Zero Energy Design® home only got about 90O F. For an introduction about HOW we do this click on our Passive Solar Cooling video (on the left above).
BEFORE you allow architects to design a building for a hot climate, first ask them to show you the critical peak attic temperature in their existing buildings.
(7) Air Infiltration and Interior Air Quality. Most homes are extremely leaky. Part of it is the terrible architecture of most exterior building envelopes.
Every corner increases the exposure to undesirable air leaks. Architects love to add lots of cuts and jags, which greatly increase the surface area of the building and air leaks. In general, the simpler the shape, the fewer the number of corners, the more energy efficient the building will be.
Part of air infiltration is poor original construction, or poor weatherization maintenance. The "double-shell effect" of our ZED TBZ greatly reduces air infiltration problems, but we don't stop there. Building codes require adequate fresh-air intake. Most architects rely on many uncomfortable drafty air leaks, which are made worse by poorly-sealed vents like fireplace, kitchen, bathroom, clothes dryer, combustion-appliance vents, and recessed lighting ceiling holes. The "fresh air intake" comes in through poorly-constructed building corners, wall / ceiling / floor joints, and back drafts through vents, some of which draw toxic byproducts of combustion back into your living quarters.
Zero Energy Design® buildings maintain a slightly-positive interior air pressure. Fresh air intake comes from filtered preconditioned, heat / cool recovery systems.
We NEVER use unfiltered air from building cracks, or window bug screens, which draw in dust, dust mites, fleas, noseeums, pollen, mold, pollution, and endless unhealthy microorganisms.
Consider this: On a hot summer day or cold winter night, would you leave a window standing open? Worse yet, would you put a fan in the window and pay money to exhaust conditioned air outside. Spectacularly STUPID architects often design clothes dryers in the conditioned space of your home. Where is yours?
Architects and air conditioning contractors usually put an air conditioner vent in the laundry room. When you turn on your clothes dryer, you suck expensive clean air through your air conditioning system at a high rate and force it outside, sometimes through a long 4-inch tube with a lot of air-flow resistance. We did NOT do this in any of our Zero Energy Design® homes since 1979. Take a look at a few potential architects' floor plans and see if they still do such insane things today.
(8) Zero-Tree, Wood-Free Construction
Since 1979, the issue of deforestation has become increasingly important. The compound growth rate of our planet’s population has resulted in the number of humans doubling to 7 billion in only 44 years. The first few Zero Energy Design homes used wood, but since then, the rapid destruction of Earth’s native forests has produced escalating resistance against killing life-giving trees for use as a building material for framing, siding, sheathing, roofs, floors, cabinets, furniture, or decorations.
Heavy wood-timber buildings and log cabins are the worst violation of this important environmental preservation principle.
The demand for wood is increasing with population growth. In the last 150 years, humans have destroyed half of Earth's carbon-dioxide-sequestering native forests.
Humans are currently killing 50,000-to-100,000 acres of trees EVERY DAY - destroying biodiversity and our own Earthly habitat. Many middle-eastern forests have been destroyed and turned into deserts. Wood is no longer an option for their homes.
71% of harvested timber comes from declining native old-growth forests - not tree plantations. It takes at least 15 years for a softwood planted tree to become ready to harvest. Some more-expensive hardwoods take more than a century to grow.
Most planted seedlings do not live for five years. During the first five years after planting a tree, the plantation process emits more greenhouse gas than it sequesters.
Monoculture tree plantations destroy the biodiversity of the native forests that were clear cut to make room for the plantation. Despite all of the misleading greenwash, there is no such thing as a sustainable tree plantation - All destruction of native forests damages the natural environment in multiple ways.
Today, almost no builder would consider using wood in a commercial building. All things considered, wood costs way too much in the long term, and has lower quality than many other more-durable high-quality modern alternatives. The rising long-term cost of wood is simply too expensive. Availability is declining, and the inferior quality of harvested timber is falling, relative to superior lower-cost modern tree-free construction methods and materials. Older carpenters will tell you that the wood materials that they must work with today are much worse than 2-or-3 decades ago. 10% of the wood delivered to a job site is normally discarded as useless scrap. These trends are clearly not sustainable.
Wood is sensitive to seasonal and daily humidity changes. Wood warps, splits, twists and cracks over time. Look in the attic of a wooden house and you will find that the nails or staples that hold the roof sheathing down caused the wooden trusses to split the day it was installed.
Wood is economically and environmentally expensive to properly preserve and maintain. Exterior wood must be frequently painted or treated at high cost for labor and materials. Wood treatments often include toxic chemicals, like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are bad for the environment and for the building occupants.
Exterior wood has a limited lifetime, and must be frequently replaced at increasing cost over time. Many expensive-maintenance wooden homes are torn down after only 30 years. A well-constructed durable Zero Energy Design® home should last centuries.
Termites and carpenter ants damage wood. Termite treatments are often toxic to the environment, and to building occupants. Exterior termite treatments leak into buildings through spaces under the base plate of wooden cavity walls (or cracks in timber frame construction). The wooden structure damage, and impacts on occupant health are long-term cumulative negative effects, that are often overlooked for many years until serious damage has been done.
Pressure-treated wood with deadly chemicals like chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is extremely toxic. It contains arsenic poison that reduces wood decay by insect attacks and microorganisms that cause wood to rot. However, CCA is known to significantly increase the risk of lung, bladder, and skin cancer. It has needlessly damaged the health of many carpenters, people living in homes containing CCA, people incinerating CCA, children using CCA-treated playground equipment, and runoff water from landfills and CCA boat docks.
Unsustainable man-made deforestation is a major contributor to atmospheric greenhouse gas (which is increasing at 2.1% per year). This is clearly having a negative impact on global warming, and windstorm intensity. Since Hurricane Katrina, windstorms around the world have been increasing in intensity - due in part to man-made global warming - small changes in air temperature and above-normal latitude air pressure differentials.
Wooden buildings are easily-and-frequently blown apart by predictable precedented windstorms - often resulting in serious occupant injury or death.
In many geographical locations, the risk of windstorm damage to wooden structures is high. In such locations, at least part of a prudent person's home should be made of durable storm-safe non-wood construction. In the core of a Zero Energy Design® building, this heavy safe-zone construction acts as thermal mass to stabilize the day / night diurnal temperature.
100+ mph horizontal wind lifts many airplanes (that weigh more than houses) off of the ground every hour of every day. When such a wind moves over the wing-like roof of a wooden house, the powerful (Bernoulli Effect) lift force sucks the roof sheathing right off. Nails and staples are very-weak fasteners when wind lifts on them. They easily pull out in moderate tornadoes.
You have probably seen flying roofs on news broadcasts. When the roof sheathing is ripped off, the roof trusses and walls fall down, and are blown away by 100+ mph wind - exposing all occupants to deadly crushing force and flesh-cutting debris. Occupants of wooden homes are gambling their family's life that 100+ mph winds will NEVER occur. Simple statistics prove them very wrong.
Death by flood or windstorm is NOT an "Act of God." It is an act of human refusal to believe the well-documented predictable Truth. It is refusal to live in harmony with Nature. Ignoring scientific facts does NOT make them go away.
Ask not: "Why did God do this to me?" (You did it to yourself.) Rather ask: "How can we live in harmony with the wonderful gifts that the Creator of the Universe has given us on Earth?"
NOAA reported that on April 27, 2011, a single mega storm cell caused a record-breaking 164 tornadoes in the southeastern U.S. Some were over a mile wide, over 200 mph, cutting a swath of death and destruction many miles long - unprecedented for the area. (World record ground-level measured wind speed is 253 mph - 200+ mph on April 27 was not the worst possible case.)
President Obama said: "I've never seen devastation like this."
The impact of man-made global warming is NOT a normal weather pattern. Thousands were injured. Hundreds were killed. Wooden houses were turned into splinters, while reinforced concrete buildings and safe rooms remained solid and sound. In can happen in an hour. Is your family prepared? How many will die? What will YOU say when a news reporter puts a microphone in your face? Will you cry and beg for a government bailout for your poor lifestyle decisions?
Is using unsustainable unsafe wood worth the very-predictable risk?
Did you ever hear the moral story of The Three Little Pigs when you were a child? Do you like playing Russian Roulette? Do you think: "It can never happen to me" ?
In a world full of non-learning entities, we must ask: (a) How long will we continue to alter Earth's climate by burning expensive unsustainable polluting fossil fuels? and (b) Will fools replace their destroyed homes with the exact same unsafe wooden construction that killed their neighbors, and simply HOPE there will never be another tornado or hurricane in the future?
Infrared thermal imaging cameras clearly document the fact in full color that wood is poor thermal insulation, compared to most materials that are designed to reduce undesirable heat transfer. The wooden studs in cavity-space walls and corners act as an energy-wasting expensive interior-to-exterior THERMAL BRIDGE.
Infrared Thermal Imaging Cameras can "see" heat being transferred through wallboard
Lighter colors are higher heat transfer through wooden door, wall studs, and corner air leak
If anyone tells you that "wood is a good insulator", they are either a non-learning entity, or a VERY BIG LAIR - See for yourself.
A solid-wood door with no glass has a thermal resistance of only R1.5 (less than R2). It is like a thermal hole in the wall.
An Energy Star® foam-filled door of the same dimensions can have R13 thermal resistance - 87% LESS THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY (K value) THAN WOOD.
Deforestation decreases the oxygen content and quality of the air that all of us must breathe. Trees are our planet's life-giving lungs. Killing trees is killing our source of life.
American-made wasWOOD construction products like plywood, oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing, and particle board are loaded with toxic VOCs, formaldehyde, etc. that your family should never be exposed to. Since 2007, formaldehyde products have been wisely banned in the European Union, but not in the USA. Travel trailers (caravans) provided by U.S. FEMA after Hurricane Katrina had very-high concentrations of formaldehyde - resulting in serious respiratory damage, and billions of dollars in valid lawsuits.
Zero Energy Design® asks: Why spend more money for obsolete less-durable wooden construction that is unhealthy, wasteful, and much less safe? The only reason wood is still being used and many new homes today is apparently uninformed obsolete thinking, and the resistance to change among slow-learning last-generation builders and carpenters.
Building a wooden home is now like wearing controversial dead animal fur, blood diamonds, or a gas-guzzling V8 car with whitewall tires.
Wood is not only obsolete, wood is unnecessarily expensive, not-very durable, and unfashionable for many good reasons.
Wood and wasWOOD should NOT be used for Zero Energy Design® residential-or-commercial construction, framing, siding, sheathing, cabinets, floors or furniture.
(9) Zero Incremental Construction Cost – Price similar to conventional buildings
After OPEC drove the price of oil up 600% in only six years from 1973 to 1979, the U.S. Department Of Energy pointed out that inefficient buildings were wasting more energy (39+%) than Transportation (28%) or Industry (32%).
Conventional Architects began to add energy-saving afterthoughts to their inefficient traditional buildings, such as: unattractive solar panels for heating air, water, and even some extremely-expensive photovoltaic systems for local onsite electricity generation.
Most Architects failed to fully understand heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation.
They failed to integrate energy-saving features into the building itself. They did not understand the underlying energy issues, and falsely convinced people that energy efficiency added 30% to 50% to the construction cost of a building. This misinformed deception led shortsighted building buyers down the wrong path, which in turn led to decades of perpetuation of century-old energy-inefficiency Architecture.
One problem is that conventional Architects are trained as esthetic artists, NOT as energy research scientists or engineers. Architects give each other awards for unusual buildings with too-many corners, too-much exterior surface area, and expensive unnecessary decorations that do not improve the function or efficiency of the building. Although it looks interesting in an Architecture magazine, and it demonstrates that the building owner has money to waste, traditional artistic Architecture is usually quite energy inefficient – It costs more for bad performance.
Architecture students are taught to praise "innovators" like Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed buildings with unusual decorations and strange construction techniques (where the roof leaked badly, like the terrible "Johnson Wax Headquarters").
Wright often went way over his own estimated construction budget. "Falling Water" was 3,000+% over budget, and had serious moisture-related repair expenses. Wright’s role model of inefficiency persists among many obsolete Architects who continue to imitate his terrible designs and still ignore energy efficiency today. For them, radical aesthetics are far more important than cost-effective building functionality, usability, and durability. Teaching conventional Architecture, and Frank-Lloyd-Wright-style impractical thinking should be considered a felony - since It seems to cause permanent irreversible brain damage. (smile)
Over 25-million new American buildings over the last three decades have sadly ignored cost-effective U.S. Department Of Energy and Zero Energy Design® concepts. If Architects had embraced the minimalist recommendations of the DOE and ZED, USA would be saving roughly $250 billion per year on energy bills, living better in healthier homes, and new Zero Energy Design® buildings would cost no more than conventional same-size buildings.
How is it possible to construct a Zero Energy Design® building for about the same price as a conventional building of the same size and usage?
The first mission-critical construction-cost-saving ZED principle is to NOT pay extra for things that degrade the energy efficiency of the building.
One very-important example is the familiar American fireplace. Prospective home buyers incorrectly think that a fireplace adds value to the home. From an energy-saving and healthy-lifestyle perspective, the exact opposite is true.
Fireplaces add thousands of dollars of cost to the construction of a home. A brick or stone fireplace is extremely heavy. It must have an expensive heavy concrete-and-steel foundation to support the weight. You have probably seen pictures of a burned-down house where only the fireplace is left standing. I would rather live in a house that did not burn anything (including the house).
A fireplace chimney creates a natural updraft 24/365, as warm air rises. The higher the outside wind velocity, the higher the updraft cubic feet per minute (CFM) of clean conditioned air removed from your home. When the fireplace is lit, the rate of the updraft greatly increases, but the natural updraft is also present when the fireplace is cold.
The air lost through any chimney or vent must be replaced expensively by infiltration of dirty, unconditioned, outside air through every crack around your home. This often draws in insects, spiders, dust, dust mites, mold, algae, fungi, and toxic air pollutants from cars and industry.
Pollution from the byproducts of combustion kills about a million people a year. Why pay extra for such an expensive unhealthy addition to a poorly-designed home?
Masonry is very thermally conductive. Touch the brick or stone on a fireplace inside your home, and you will feel the winter or summer temperature extremes being brought into your living space.
The joint between a masonry fireplace and the adjacent wooden stud walls often leaks air and needs frequent time-consuming maintenance. These leaks can allow moisture and humidity into wall cavity spaces, making your wood rot faster in hidden places, and lowering the R-value of your wall insulation. Damp insulation encourages expensive thermal conductivity.
Al Gore's extremely-inefficient $9-million gaudy Italian-style Montecito California Pacific-Ocean Castle has SIX FIREPLACES - Designed by the infamous obsolete architect Paul T. Emery. Al's multiple wasteful real estate holdings, diesel houseboat, air-and-ground travel entourage expenses make him among the world's-worst inDUHvidual contributors to Global Warming.
Gore recommends burning natural gas. When he won the Academy Award for his inaccurate Inconvenient Truth, he had inefficient polluting natural gas lights burning in his yard 24 / 365.
Al Gore is a laughable "greenwash" joke, who is supported only by total fools. Do NOT pay attention to Al Gore's Nobel-Prize-winning bald-faced hypocrisy.
Many non-learning Architects still design new buildings with overly-expensive, unhealthy, hazardous combustion systems.
Using expensive imported fuel oil to heat a home increases the cost of construction. You need a large oil storage tank, and usually a basement for the tank and combustion system. The basement requires expensive excavation, concrete, steel, and it wastes valuable interior cubic space. If bedrock is close to ground level, basement excavation can be very expensive. If the water table is near ground level, or the location has significant seasonal rain or snow, the basement can have a lifetime of expensive moisture problems. Have you ever seen a basement that has shifted, leaving a crack in the wall? When water comes in contact with reinforcing steel, it rusts away over time. Carbon-fiber reinforcing rods are even more expensive than steel.
Thermally-conductive concrete basement walls are in contact with exterior earth that is cooler than interior air temperature most of the year. This causes condensation in the porous concrete, which is an excellent habitat for the growth of mold, mildew, algae, viruses, bacteria, and other unhealthy microorganisms. They grow rapidly in moist concrete, or where moist concrete touches wood. A new home rapidly develops the familiar unhealthy "basement smell." Some air-borne diseases like Legionella and Stachybotrys (Black Mold) are very deadly to humans. Some basements can become man-made death traps.
The dense rocks used in basement concrete sometimes contain traces of radioactive materials. This results in the release of Radon gas into your home. http://www.epa.gov/radon/ "Exposure to radon in the home is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year." One-out-of-seven American homes have Radon levels that are worse than smoking a pack of cigarettes per day - most residential Radon is found in basements. Is it worth paying EXTRA for an unhealthy home that the EPA says may give your children lung cancer over time?
Heating oil price is increasing rapidly. Sunshine is not. In 2010, nearly 1 gigawatt of new solar panel capacity was installed in America - the highest in history. The U.S. solar energy industry grew a record 67% in 2010, making sunshine the fastest-growing energy sector by far. Solar energy is a solution whose time has finally come. 67% U.S. Solar Industry 2010-Growth Rate
Many Americans are finally getting the clear message about clean, green, free, daily-renewable, abundant sunshine. R U ?
Many American homes still use unhealthy natural gas. There is a high cost to install the pipelines in a neighborhood. Corroded pipelines sometimes leak and cause deadly explosions in heavily-populated urban areas. Aging gas pipelines are not being properly maintained. Billions of dollars would be required to maintain them more safely, but when America approached bankruptcy in 2008, infrastructure maintenance funding decreased nationwide. 2011 budget cuts are further reducing long-overdue national infrastructure maintenance.
Natural gas plumbing and appliances increase the cost of a building. Gas appliances cost more to purchase and maintain over time. They have more components that can fail in a deadly way. Poorly-maintained gas appliances and plumbing fittings can and do kill people with toxic gases, explosions and fires. Bringing fire into your home increases the risk of asphyxiation or burning to death. Any building that burns anything has higher actuarial insurance-claim risk, and often has higher ongoing insurance premiums over time.
When the wind blows outside, or when other vents (like fireplace chimneys) create an interior vacuum, smaller gas vent pipes can create a back draft, which draws toxic fumes back into your home for your family to breathe.
Gas cook stoves emit fine particulates that gradually damage the lungs and brain of people who spend time in the kitchen. Would you sleep in a room with an unvented gas stove? - They are deadly. Kitchen gas stoves can be just as damaging to health. The effect is cumulative over time – just like smoking damages delicate lung and brain tissues.
You should ALWAYS turn on your powered vent hood fan to HIGH, before lighting a gas stove or oven – to protect your respiratory and brain health. However, kitchen vent hood exhaust fans consume electricity. They obviously draw conditioned air outside, and therefore suck dirty, unhealthy, outside make-up air in, which requires energy to condition - increasing your utility bills.
Is all of this worth the initial-and-ongoing EXTRA COST that combustion appliances add to a building?
Business-as-usual non-learning traditional status-quo Architects frequently use conventional heating and air conditioning systems that cost many thousands of dollars. These systems often have inefficient poorly-designed air ducts or hydronic heat transfer systems that can add over $10,000 USD to construction cost. Many Zero Energy Design® buildings do not need this type unnecessary, inefficient expense (depending on local climatic conditions). The cost savings can help pay for things that we add to Zero Energy Design® homes.
Would you rather have an expensive HVAC system, or a plant-filled refreshing greenhouse, indoor swim spa, or a sunny solarium with a panoramic view?
Many prospective home buyers think that an expensive red-tile roof is a valuable attractive option. From an energy perspective, they badly degrade building performance, and therefore are really ugly to an informed individual. Insecure greedy people who love conspicuous consumption think that spending thousands of extra dollars for a tile roof makes them look successful - It actually makes them look stupid, like driving an expensive obsolete Hummer. Here is why: Dark roofs absorb millions of BTU's of heat every day when the sun is high in the summer. Tile roofs are heavy - they have a lot of "thermal mass". They store high-temperature summer heat, and radiate it downward into your hot attic, long after the sun sets - greatly increasing your air conditioning bills. In the winter, most of the low winter sunlight reflects off of a tile roof. Their cold thermal mass draws heat from the upper floor of your home, increasing your heating bills. Why pay more for ugly worse performance?
Our first 5,000-square-foot Zero Energy Design® luxury home with a solar-heated 38-foot indoor swimming pool was built in a Midwestern U.S. neighborhood of fine homes. Other homes in the neighborhood cost at least $60 per square foot to build in 1979 (when the U.S. dollar was worth much more than it is today).
Our superior ZED home had many fine features, but only cost about $42 per square foot to build. The below-average cost for a well-designed above-average beautiful ZED home was the measurable difference between conventional non-engineer artistic Architects, and a thorough open-minded energy research scientist (with no formal bad Architecture training) who would settle for nothing less than the affordable optimized very-best place to live.
Today, zero-energy things like photovoltaic systems are nearly 1 / 20th of the 1979 price. Zero Energy Design® is now even LESS expensive than ever before.
Why would anyone pay MORE for a lesser unhealthy home with conventional utility bills? Answer: Widespread IGNORANCE
Why would anyone pay a Johnny-Come-Lately uninformed AIA USGBC LEED Architect who tells clients that eliminating energy bills costs MORE than conventional new construction?
Zero Energy Design® is not a “pie in the sky” future aspirational goal. It was a proven, attractive, cost-effective, pragmatic reality over three decades ago.
(10) Market Appeal – Buildings that are more-attractive than conventional inefficient Architecture
Traditional Architects are trained as artists, not as scientists or engineers. For the most part, they strive to draw attention to their man-made buildings by adding expensive inefficient unnecessary corners, excessive surface-area-to-volume ratio, complex roof lines, and non-functional detrimental decorations.
Take a look at the awards that Architects give each other in any Architectural magazine for endless ongoing examples.
Zero Energy Design® can use these same decorative things, but why would any rational designer or owner want to?
Zero Energy Design® strives for minimalist optimization in harmony with Nature.
Instead of drawing attention to a man-made building, our goal is to draw attention to the majestic beauty of Nature, which surrounds us in great abundance.
Building codes restrict the amount and type of glass that can be used on a conventional single-shell inefficient building. In contrast, the Zero Energy Design® double-shell Thermal Buffer Zone concept allows us to have unlimited equator-facing (southern) glass. Our 1979 solarium had over 1,000 square feet of ceiling-to-floor, wall-to-wall panoramic glass.
Our unique custom-designed south wall was by-far the least-expensive wall on our home. The materials were minimal: vertical-and-horizontal braces, and high-volume-production 34” x 76” patio-door glass panels. We came up with our own efficient method for mounting the raw glass, without expensive window frames. Construction of the first Zero Energy Design® greenhouse wall and roof trusses took place in only one day – with minimal labor requirement.
Every living area, kitchen, dining, and bedroom was carefully designed with a sweeping panoramic view through the solarium, to the tree-covered valley to the south. We used a lot of interior glass between the solarium and interior living space. Drapes provided privacy whenever we wanted.
The interior and exterior solarium glass was inexpensive high-emissive single pane. The ZED Thermal Buffer Zone made this low-cost attractive system work well in temperatures from 110 F down to -10 F. We had done our homework well. It surprised everyone who saw what we had perfected on our very first ZED construction attempt.
We watched the colors of the seasons change, as we lived a comfortable, luxury, abundant-energy lifestyle in harmony with Nature.
Either the front or the back of a Zero Energy Design® building should face the equator (south). It should be longer in the east / west dimension, to maximize winter solar gain potential, and to minimize western exposure on hot summer afternoons.
The back of our 1979 solar-heated indoor-swimming-pool home faced south. When guests entered through our north-facing air-lock front door, their eye was first drawn through the living room glass to the swimming pool, then to the greenhouse garden, and then outside toward the seasonal beauty of Nature outdoors.
When there was snow outside, a sparkling reflection lit up the interior ceiling of the solarium. Low winter sunshine penetrated all the way toward the interior north wall, but when the summer sun was high, there was zero direct solar gain in the interior rooms. All of this was accurately predicted and designed-in long before construction began.
Many people had no idea about the zero-energy portion of our design. They just said that it was the most attractive home they had ever been in. We were featured on the front page of our local newspaper real estate section (before the days of the Internet) and our home was on network television 9 times. We never paid a penny to advertise it.
Thousands of people wanted a tour of our home. It motivated us to write our Zero Energy Design® book in 1980, which we continue to enhance to this very day, as technology evolves and become even more cost-effective.
Our first ZED home was built as our own personal residence. We knew that vacation travel was going to become more expensive, as oil supplies declined in the future. We wanted a home that was a 365-day-a-year luxury resort.
We never intended to build them for others. If we had wanted to become a high-volume home builder, the free publicity that we got from our hundreds of attractive designs would have made us very popular indeed.
Over three decades ago, we proved that it is very possible for a Zero Energy Design® holistic integrated / optimized building to be MORE attractive than arrogant conventional artistic Architecture, which arrogantly focuses on man-made structures, instead of on the great beauty of Nature outdoors. Holistic minimalist optimization greatly enhances quality of life at significantly-reduced cost.
The Bright Future Of Zero Energy Design® Buildings and Megacities
If you want to save hundreds of dollars per year in electricity bills and simplify the complexity of your electronic systems AC / DC power supplies, then consider our newest energy-saving product proposal - Click on the following: Zero Energy Design® Electrical Transformer Eliminator, Vampire Power Killer, and Uninterruptable Power Supply
Conventional energy sources and inefficiency are absolutely unsustainable. In contrast, the future ofZero Energy Design® (ZED)is very sustainable. ZED buildings have been demonstrated very well for three decades. They meet almost all of their admirable goals and objectives. Unlike the exploration of the moon, Zero Energy Building technology improvements have continued to improve non-stop for three decades. We have known HOW to do ZED for a very-long time. Since the 2008 $4-per-gallon gasoline crisis triggered the great worldwide recession, we now know WHY ZED is so extremely critical.
You can see that veteran Zero Energy Design® Systems Engineers are already thinking way outside the confines of any other designers on the face of the Earth. Our process of Comprehensive Holistic Zero Energy Designis a complete reinvention of everything about home and commercial energy production, construction, conservation, and consumption.
Comfortable-living, free-energy for the home, office, transportation, industry, telecommuting, and cooperative community service planning are just some of the many potential ZED Systems Engineering topics to be resolved and refined in the immediate future, to understand what tomorrow should be.,
we can begin by looking further back much further into how we got to sad mess America is in today.
Zero Energy Design® Vision
Energy Prototype Community Of Tomorrow
“Where there is no vision, the people perish”
Humans need a compelling irresistible vision of a superior tomorrow. It provides the Action Motivation (discussed in Chapter Three of our ZED eBook material) to solve problems and move forward in the midst of adversity.
Our Zero Energy Design® state-of-the-art visionary-community-proposal for one million prosperous people is available for free on Emerald Eco-City
Hope is the essence of continual improvement, and the inspiration for making every new day incrementally better than yesterday. Focusing on the many errors and failures of the past, can lead to either (1) negative depression, or (2) the positive search for superior future solutions. Each of us must choose our attitude toward the past and future, which will determine the potential of what we will surely become.
We must learn from the past, but not dwell on it. We need to amplify and build upon our good experiences; Learn from, laugh at, and correct previous mistakes. We need to develop and dwell on a persuasive picture-perfect vision of the future that influences all of our thoughts and creative energy.
We did not inherit the Earth from our parents, to plunder for our selfish desires
We borrowed Earth from our children, and we must return it to them one day soon
Our children should judge the value of OUR lives
by the legacy we leave for them and their children
We sincerely wish all of our readers an Abundant New Life In Harmony With Nature
Lifelong Learning In An Ever-Expanding Universe Of Endless Possibilities TM
We invite constructive suggestions and collaboration with our new friends
E-Mail To: ZEDmaster@ZeroEnergyDesign.com
Get More Information in Larry Hartweg's 850 page book plus U.S. DOE Workshop Presentation: Zero Energy Design EBook or CD ROM .
“Zero Energy Design” is the ® trademark of Zero Energy Design, Inc. (a Florida corporation) – www.ZeroEnergyDesign.com
Zero Energy Design® is legally registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Serial #77676226, Registration #3727589)
Since 1980, we've made widespread use of our “Zero Energy Design” trademark, to the extent that this proprietary trademark has acquired an extensive worldwide reputation and goodwill (at significant time, effort, and expense to us). The “Zero Energy Design”® trademark is now a well-known mark for all relevant purposes of trademark law.
We've used “Zero Energy Design” as our common-law TM trademark since the President-Carter-era huge National Energy Exposition trade shows, which featured our 5,000 sq.ft. 1979 Zero Energy Design home. We were the largest Energy Expo exhibitor (building an entire three-bedroom Zero Energy Design home inside the exposition building, which the Energy Expo used as their primary trade show advertising picture.
Beginning in 1980, we've sold our Zero Energy Design® books, eBooks, CD-ROM’s and provided website materials in 134 countries around the world: 1 Albania 2 Algeria 3 Angola 4 Antigua 5 Argentina 6 Armenia 7 Australia 8 Austria 9 Azerbaijan 10 Bangladesh 11 Barbuda 12 Belarus 13 Belgium 14 Bolivia 15 Bosnia 16 Botswana 17 Brazil 18 Bulgaria 19 Cambodia 20 Cameroon 21 Canada 22 Chile 23 China 24 Colombia 25 Costa Rica 26 Croatia 27 Cyprus 28 Czech Republic 29 Denmark 30 Djibouti 31 Dominican Republic 32 Ecuador 33 Egypt 34 El Salvador 35 Estonia 36 Ethiopia 37 Fiji 38 Finland 39 France 40 Gabon 41 Georgia 42 Germany 43 Ghana 44 Greece 45 Grenadines 46 Guyana 47 Herzegovina 48 Honduras 49 Hong Kong 50 Hungary 51 Iceland 52 India 53 Indonesia 54 Iran 55 Iraq 56 Ireland 57 Israel 58 Italy 59 Jamaica 60 Japan 61 Jordan 62 Kazakhstan 63 Kenya 64 Kuwait 65 Laos 66 Latvia 67 Lebanon 68 Libya 69 Lithuania 70 Macedonia 71 Malaysia 72 Maldives 73 Malta 74 Mexico 75 Moldova 76 Mongolia 77 Montenegro 78 Morocco 79 Myanmar (Burma) 80 Namibia 81 Nepal 82 Netherlands 83 Netherlands Antilles 84 New Caledonia 85 New Zealand 86 Nicaragua 87 Niger 88 Nigeria 89 Norway 90 Oman 91 Pakistan 92 Panama 93 Peru 94 Philippines 95 Poland 96 Portugal 97 Puerto Rico 98 Qatar 99 Romania 100 Russia 101 Rwanda 102 Saint Vincent 103 Saudi Arabia 104 Senegal 105 Serbia 106 Singapore 107 Slovakia 108 Slovenia 109 South Africa 110 South Korea 111 Spain 112 Sri Lanka 113 Sudan 114 Swaziland 115 Sweden 116 Switzerland 117 Taiwan 118 Tanzania 119 Thailand 120 Tobago 121 Trinidad 122 Tunisia 123 Turkey 124 Uganda 125 Ukraine 126 United Arab Emirates 127 United Kingdom 128 United States 129 Uruguay 130 Venezuela 131 Vietnam 132 Yemen 133 Zambia and 134 Zimbabwe.
We have designed over 200 Zero Energy Design® buildings, and participated as a mentor, key speaker and workshop presenter in numerous energy-related conferences and trade shows. Our copyrighted and trademarked designs, books and Internet website materials have acquired a worldwide reputation of ongoing proven success.
We use our Zero Energy Design® trademark extensively on our informative Internet websites:
www.ZeroEnergyDesign.com, www.ZeroEnergyDesign.org, www.PassiveSolarEnergy.info, www.EmeraldEcoCity.com and others.
We have also made significant contributions to www.Wikipedia.org, and U.S. Department Of Energy and Oakridge National Labs materials.
We have internationally published hours ofZero Energy Design®videos on our popular channel: http://www.youtube.com/zeroenergydesign
“Zero Energy Design”® is a “Standard Character Mark” irrespective of character font, case, color, spacing or punctuation.
Our registered trademark legal rights include all uses of these three words in this sequence, regardless of font, size, color, case, punctuation, or spacing - including (but not limited to) these TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT EXAMPLES: “ZeroEnergyDesign”, “zeroenergydesign”, “ZeroEnergy Design”, “Zero-Energy Design”, “Zero-Energy-Design”, “Zero_Energy_Design”, “zero.energy.design”, “Net-Zero Energy Design”, “near-zero-energy design”, “Zero Energy Design Home”, “Zero Energy Design Building”, “Zero Energy Design Construction”, "Zero Energy Design Process".
Other terms (such as “Zero E Design”) that are confusing or deceptively-similar to our “Zero Energy Design” trademark may constitute intentionally-misleading imitations of “Zero Energy Design”®
The only legal way that we understand that others may use the three words “Zero Energy Design” in this sequence is IF they immediately follow it with the ® registered trademark annotation, and make it clear in their material that they are referencing the work of Zero Energy Design, Inc.– a Florida corporation – www.ZeroEnergyDesign.com - and not referring to their own work in any way.
To avoid incurring potentially-expensive legal fees, simply do NOT infringe on our well-established “Zero Energy Design”® registered trademark in any way.
E-Mail To: ZEDmaster@ZeroEnergyDesign.com