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Positive energy homes : impacts on, and implications for, ecologically sustainable design

By Wendy F. Miller and Laurie Buys

Abstract

A zero-energy home (ZEH) is a residential dwelling that generates as much energy annually from onsite renewable sources, as it consumes in its operation. A positive energy home (PEH) generates more energy than it consumes. The key design and construction elements, and costs and benefits of such buildings, are the subject of increasing research globally. Approaching this topic from the perspective of the role of such homes in the planning and development ‘supply chain’, this paper presents the measured outcomes of a PEH and discusses urban design implications. Using twelve months of detailed performance data of an occupied sub-tropical home, the paper analyses the design approach and performance outcomes that enable it to be classified as ‘positive energy’. Second, it analyses both the urban design strategies that assisted the house in achieving its positive energy status, and the impacts of such housing on urban design and infrastructure. Third, the triple bottom line implications are discussed from the viewpoint of both the individual household and the broader community. The paper concludes with recommendations for research areas required to further underpin and quantify the role of ZEHs and PEHs in enabling and supporting the economic, social and ecological sustainability of urban developments

Topics: 090608 Renewable Power and Energy Systems Engineering (excl. Solar Cells), 120100 ARCHITECTURE, 120202 Building Science and Techniques, 120500 URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING, energy resilience, positive energy home (PEH), urban design, urban infrastructure, zero energy home (ZEH)
Publisher: Palgrave
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1057/udi.2011.20
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:49067

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