Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)
An internationally recognized green building certification/ numerical rating system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. To verify that the house is achieving the highest standards of green and sustainable design the project is pursuing Platinum certification in the LEED for Homes rating system. This system covers every aspect of home construction, from integrated design; the use of materials, energy and water; the building’s interaction with the surrounding community; and the quality and health of the indoor environment.
Zero-Net Energy Building (ZEB)
In California, ZEB means the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable energy sources is equal to the amount of energy used by the building. In essence, that is the amount of externally generated electricity natural gas or other energy stock used at the home must be equal to the energy generated by the home. This will be the 2020 standard for all new California home construction.
Passive house (Passivhaus in German)
Refers to the rigorous, voluntary, Passivhaus standard for energy efficiency in buildings. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. Passive design is not the attachment or supplement of architectural design, but an integrated design process with the architectural design. In the United States, a house built to the Passive House standard results in a building that requires space heating energy of 1 BTU per square foot per heating degree day, compared with about 5 to 15 BTUs per square foot per heating degree day for a similar building built to meet the 2003 Model Energy Efficiency Code. This is between 75 and 95% less energy for space heating and cooling than current new buildings that meet today’s US energy efficiency codes.
Definitions taken primarily from Wikipedia and the California Energy Commission
Project Green Home (PGH), located in Palo Alto California, less than three blocks from Stanford University campus, is a single family dwelling of approximately 2,500 square feet currently under construction. With a goal of beyond platinum LEED, zero-net energy, passive house, it has been designed to:
- Meet the PassiveHouse standard, surpassing LEED platinum and California’s Title-24
- Integrate both available and cutting edge building energy efficiency technologies
- Incorporate the “best, cheapest, longest-lasting, safest” product and materials available
- Serve as a model and showcase for green/ energy efficient building technologies
- Meet California’s Assembly Bill 32, requirement for 80% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2050, right now.
As a working model of the possible, Project Green Home hopes to serve as a real-life replicable example, creating a virtuous circle of similar sustainable housing. As such we welcome the involvement of the community and, in particular, students in evaluating the home against the above design parameters and likewise media coverage to publicize the possibilities.