2011 Passive House Conference, Synergy Case Study

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High-performance is inherently linked to higher first-day cost. Most assume that it only exists at the top of the market. Affordability is often confused with cheap upfront cost. The two present a seemingly irreconcilable conundrum.
TE Studio’s approach defines affordability as something that is financially sustainable over a given period of time. Within this paradigm, first-day costs become a line item on a laundry list of lifecycle cost an owner is typically faced with. The Synergy case study aims to clarify the difference between first-day cost and total cost of ownership, thus redefining affordability and the impact of high-performance design on sustainable and financially viable structures in cold climates (Climate Zone 6).
Synergy is a highly energy efficient, durable and flexible compact home designed as a conversation starter which aims to make high performance accessible to a broad section of owners and developers. Entirely designed without client input and in our free time, Synergy is TE Studio’s testbed for affordability as well as high-performance assemblies and systems. Synergy has not been built but is currently being considered by different entities for projects in 2012.

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2011 Passive House Conference, Synergy Case Study

  1. 1. holistic design forsustainable homes• comfort• economy• ecology• quality• durability• beauty• functionality• healthSTUDIO:3429 Benjamin St. NEMinneapolis, MN 55418612-246-4670testudio.com CERTIFIED PASSIVE HOUSE™ CONSULTANT
  2. 2. Case Study: Affordable High-PerformanceSYNERGY
  3. 3. CONCEPT
  4. 4. AFFORDABILITY• Adapts to lifestyle• Low (no) utility cost• Low maintenance• Low first-day cost
  5. 5. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS • High comfort • Very healthy • Low environmental impact • Super functional • Aesthetically pleasant
  6. 6. DESIGN
  7. 7. FIRST FLOOR 0 2 4 8 N First Floor Plan 1.COVERED ENTRY 2.ENTRY 9 8 7 3.KITCHEN 4.DINING 5.LIVING 6.YARD ACCESS 7.ACCESSIBLE 6 BEDROOM 8.ACCESSIBLE BATH & LAUNDRY 9.STORAGE &1 2 3 4 5 MECHANICAL
  8. 8. SECOND FLOOR Second Floor Plan 1.STUDY/ BEDROOM 2 6 5 4 2.FAMILY ROOM 3.BEDROOM 3 4.BEDROOM 4 5.BATH 6.STORAGE1 2 3
  9. 9. ALTERNATE
  10. 10. ENVELOPE 24"24" 19 5/8" 21 3/8" 19 5/8" Wood, site-built Wood, prefab ICF
  11. 11. ENVELOPEFlat roof Cold roof
  12. 12. ENVELOPESlab on grade Basement
  13. 13. WINDOWS, DOORS & SHADING
  14. 14. MECHANICAL RESPONSE DHW approx. 1kW Solar thermal with electric [3.4 kBTU/h] resistance backup Heating approx. 3kW Ductless air-to-air heat pump with [10.2 kBTU/h] electric resistance backup SYNERGYstandard model Cooling approx. 2kW [6.8 kBTU/h] Ductless air-to-air heat pump Ventilation 150 m^3/h [88 CFM] HRV with home-run ducts
  15. 15. ENERGY
  16. 16. MODELS• Base Built to Minnesota code minimum R-values• Advanced Recommended R-Values for climate zone 6 by Building Science Cooperation• Synergy Passive House
  17. 17. ENVELOPESWALLSROOF (FLAT)SLAB BASE ADVANCED SYNERGYWALLS R-19 R-35 R-58ROOF R-38 R-60 R-77SLAB R-10 R-10 R-44 U-0.33 U-0.24 U-0.13WINDOWS SHGC- 0.35 SHGC- 0.50 SHGC- 0.52-0.64ACH_50 3 1.5 0.6
  18. 18. MECHANICAL SYSTEMS BASE ADVANCED SYNERGYVENT. EXHAUST ONLY HRV: 75% HRV: 90% NATURAL GAS FURNACE: NATURAL GAS FURNACE:HEATING 85% 94% HEAT-PUMP: COP 2 NATURAL GAS WATER NATURAL GAS WATER SOLAR THERMALDHW HEATER HEATER & ELECTRICCOOLING AC AC HEAT-PUMP
  19. 19. HEAT LOSSES Heat Loss25000kWh/a Fenestration Transmission Losses Slab Transmission Losses Roof Transmission Losses20000kWh/a Exterior Walls Transmission Losses Ventilation Losses15000kWh/a10000kWh/a5000kWh/a 0kWh/a BASE ADVANCED SYNERGY
  20. 20. HEAT GAINS Passive vs. Active25000 Active Heating (net) Solar & Internal Gains Heat Losses2000015000100005000 0 BASE ADVANCED SYNERGY
  21. 21. ENERGY DEMANDS Heating and Energy Demands Comparison300kWh/(qm a) Specific Annual Heating Demand Specific Site Energy Demand Specific Primary Energy Demand200kWh/(qm a)100kWh/(qm a) 0kWh/(qm a) BASE ADVANCED SYNERGY
  22. 22. NET ZERO ENERGY BASE Heating (active) DHW (active) Cooling (active) Household Electricity Heat & DHW (passive) SYNERGY BASE ADVANCED SYNERGYPV- array 25.0 kWp 14.0 kWp 4.5 kWpPV-area 2150 sf 1204 sf 387 sf Costs $125,000 $70,000 $22,500
  23. 23. LIFE CYCLE COST
  24. 24. MODELS• Base Built to Minnesota code minimum R-values• Synergy Passive House• Synergy net zero Passive House inc. PV
  25. 25. INITIAL COST BASE SYNERGY DIFFERENCEBuilding envelope 54,291 $ 66,315 $ 122%Fenestration 18,800 $ 51,632 $ 275%Mechanicals 17,700 $ 23,300 $ 132%Other 108,058 $ 108,058 $ 100%Site 50,000 $ 50,000 $ 100%Total 248,849 $ 299,305 $ 120%PV for Zero Energy 125,000 $ 22,500 $ 18%Total Zero Energy 373,849 $ 321,805 $ 86%
  26. 26. MAINTENANCE• Windows• Water management• Building envelope upgrades ➡ FACTOR 2 (likely more)
  27. 27. UTILITIES• Electricity: 0.10 $/kWh• Natural gas: 1.10 $/Therm• Inflation: 6.5%
  28. 28. RESULTS Life Cycle Cost Analysis$900,000 BASE SYNERGY SYNERGY NET ZERO$675,000$450,000$225,000 $0 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
  29. 29. SUMMARY
  30. 30. PERFORMANCE DELIVERED }• Adapts to lifestyle ✓• Low (no) utility cost ✓• Low maintenance ✓• Low first-day cost ✓• High comfort ✓ SYNERGY• Very healthy ✓• Super functional ✓• Aesthetically pleasant ✓• Low environmental impact ✓
  31. 31. Thank you! testudio.com

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