2023 Conference Session: Net Zero Technologies

Net-Zero Technologies
Al Wallace

In 2012, there were 50 buildings in the United States registered with a target to achieve net-zero energy performance. Ten years later, the US Green Building Council reported that over 23 million square feet of space have been certified under their LEED Zero program. While impressive, this exponential growth represents a small portion of the net-zero energy low-carbon emissions commercial buildings under design or construction throughout the world today. While relatively unknown to the timber framing community, the technologies used in these buildings overcome many of the problems integrating HVAC systems in timber frame structures.

This presentation will discuss this market growth and provide case studies of net-zero energy buildings, specifically the successes and failures for attaining net-zero energy performance and the role of geothermal and air source heat pumps in this process. Common elements include high-mass building structures, hydronic heating and cooling, configuring heat pumps in unconventional ways to achieve breathtaking energy performance, using variable speed technologies as a standard practice, and advanced building automation control for superior performance. These technologies fit well within the simplicity of timber frame structures

About the Speaker: Al Wallace
Al Wallace has been a TFG member since 1990 and is an expert in these technologies with certifications as a Certified GeoExchange Designer and Certified Energy Manager with the Association of Energy Engineers, and a LEED for Homes Accredited Professional with the USGBC. Al is an ASHRAE member and Associate AIA member with professional degrees in Aeronautical Engineering, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture. He has been awarded six U.S. patents for these net-zero energy technologies and designed or installed these technologies in over 50 buildings over the past 15 years.

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