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Principal Architect Sheena Sharp: On Net Zero Homes

By: Adriana

In your experience, what are the largest flaws that you will typically encounter in traditional building plans that make them unsustainable or energy inefficient?

In my experience, nobody cares which way south is (the optimal direction for windows to be facing in order to maximize natural light usage). Many sustainable features are found in the details and from a consumer point of view, they don’t tend to care about insulation or thicker windows. There needs to be a general consumer understanding that it is often the things you cannot see that make the largest difference. One example would be air-tightness, we’ve been working on this for so long but not many people take the time to perform air-tightness tests in their homes. A typical 1970s house will lose 1/3 of all air through air leakage. (more…)