Analysis of Components in a Zero Net Energy Test House (ZNETH) in Omaha Nebraska

By Avery Schwer, Dale Tiller and Bradley Scott Cory.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper describes design elements of a Zero Net Energy Test House (ZNETH) located in Omaha, Nebraska. The components are the house’s site orientation, roof design, envelope, insulation, phase change material (PCM) and occupancy sensors. ZNETH is a residential home with two-stories and 2800sf of floor space including the basement. It contains four bedrooms and three and a half baths. The house orientation on the site determined the shape of the envelope and component location. Two types of systems were used in building the outer shell of the house: insulated concrete forms (ICF) and 2x6 framed construction. The envelope is composed of a multi-layered trawled on membrane system (EFIS) on the outside and sprayed insulation on the inside. Phase Change Material (PCM) is an experimental additive that was combined with a natural cotton wall covering to create a temperature conductive coating on the walls in the first floor bathroom.

Keywords: Zero Net Energy Test Home, USGBC, Insulated Concrete Forms, Phase Change Material

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.37-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.721MB).

Dr. Avery Schwer

Associate Professor, College of Engineering, University of Nebraska, Omaha, USA

Dr. Schwer is a UNL College of Engineering professor in the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction. He is the director of the ZNETH Project, which is a net zero test house next to the campus. He teaches sustainable construction courses and is developing an online program in sustainable design and construction. His research focuses on the investigation of renewable and high performance building applications. Dr. Schwer serves on the Board of Directors for the USGBC Nebraska Chapter and has been recognized for service by Habitat for Humanity and United Way. Twelve of his student’s research projects and course papers have won national and regional awards. He has earned the University of Nebraska Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Dr. Dale Tiller

Associate Professor, Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, University of Nebraska, Omaha, USA

Dr. Tiller has been active in the area of human factors in building energy for more than 15 years. Tiller’s more recent work has investigated the development and application of occupancy sensor networks to enhance building energy management and security. This work, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, provides the technical foundation for the work described in this proposal and it shows that occupancy sensor networks, consisting of several independent detectors monitoring the same space, provide more accurate occupancy measurement and more cost effective control than are possible with a single point of detection.

Bradley Scott Cory

Ph.D. Student, College of Engineering, University of Nebraska, Omaha, USA

Bradley Cory is a Ph.D. student in the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Brad is an active built environment investigator in the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction with extensive experience in sustainable applications.