Construction Quick Tip: Future homes strive to be energy self-sufficient

solar panel installation for energy effeciency

Solar panels and new building materials can increase energy efficiency

Housing and energy experts call the goal ‘net zero.’ It represents a building that has been constructed in such an energy-efficient way — with methods and materials — it is able to produce, on site, as much energy as it uses over the course of a year.

Due to premium construction efficiency and energy generating abilities, experiments are already proving it can be done. The first net-zero achievable school was opened in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and more are breaking ground.

Even now, the materials you choose can make a big difference to the overall efficiency of your home. If you want the highest performance, be sure to pay close attention to decisions for the walls, windows, roofing, ventilation and indoor climate control. Those features in particular assist in the goal to completely offset energy consumption.

Solar panels are a case in point, where the energy of the sun can bring huge savings in electricity and contribute to the ‘net zero’ goal.

Solar panels are a set of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules electrically connected and mounted on a supporting structure. The PV modules are an assembly of connected solar cells. The solar panels are key to the photovoltaic system used to generate and supply electricity in commercial and residential applications.

Other construction materials like interlocking concrete forms are replacing the traditional wood frame method. The system is known to builders as ICFs, or insulated concrete forms.

ICFs consist of pre-assembled panels, each one stacked, reinforced, and then filled with concrete. Once locked together, like Legos, the system creates a solid, monolithic wall reported to be up to nine times stronger, with far more fire protection and with far more sound insulation.”

This feature — alongside solar generation, plus positioning your home to take advantage of natural light — are just a few of the features already commercially available.

For more information on building energy efficient homes with solar panels, call Electricraft at (805) 544-8224