Net Zero Carbon and Passive House – Easier Than You Think

Stringent overall performance requirements are compounded by component-specific or assembly-specific criteria. In addition, design solutions often require careful integration between the architectural design, energy modelling, envelope design and mechanical design. The relative impact of thermal bridging and envelope transitions is amplified in low energy buildings. Accurately quantifying thermal bridging effects and finding innovative design improvements to key details is an essential part of Passive House certification.

The presentation will discuss the counter-intuitive mechanical design challenges arising from very low heating and cooling loads and the year-round challenge of simultaneous heating and cooling needs within a floor plate. The different control logic and operating schedules of low energy systems must be carefully coordinated with energy modellers to ensure an accurate model.

Learning Objective 1:
Understanding envelope design issues and the degree of impact of thermal bridging and window performance.

Learning Objective 2:
Understanding mechanical design issues and the degree of impact of non-heating/cooling loads on low TEDI buildings.

Learning Objective 3:
Understanding practical considerations to achieve Net Zero Carbon and/or Passive House performance.

Learning Objective 4:
Application of BECx and Cx principles and practical considerations to prepare for Whole Building Air Leakage test requirements.

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Steven Murray, P. Eng., PMP

Steven has broad professional experience providing architect and developer clients with envelope design assistance, design review, and energy optimization advice. Steven also has experience in condition assessment, investigation of building envelope failures, rehabilitation design, structural repair, construction documentation, contract administration, and facilities management planning. He has investigated, designed, and overseen repairs to dozens of buildings, involving roofing, cladding, masonry, curtain wall, EIFS, and windows.


Alejandro Ortega Garcia, P.Eng.

Alejandro has over 22 years of experience designing and evaluating mechanical systems for data centers, laboratories, central utilities plants, institutional facilities, transportation facilities and hydro-power plants amongst others. His experience spans the entire gamut of engineering services, starting with master planning, pre-feasibility & feasibility studies through to detailed design, contract administration and start-up & commissioning.