Architects, builders 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.
“By pushing construction efficiency and energy generating abilities to the limit, various pilot projects are already proving it can be done,” says Todd Blyth at Nudura, a leading Canadian manufacturer of insulated concrete wall forms. “The first net-zero achievable school opened its doors last year south of the border, and more are underway.
“Even now, the materials you choose can make a big difference to the overall efficiency of your new home,” Blyth explained. “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.”
Nudura walls are in demand for this reason, says Blyth, explaining that their concrete system is replacing the traditional – but inefficient and unsustainable – wood frame method. The far more durable system is known to builders as ICFs, or insulated concrete forms.
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“Our ICFs consist of pre-assembled panels, each one stacked, reinforced, and then filled with concrete,” Blyth explains. “Once locked together (like Lego) this system creates a solid, monolithic wall which is reported to be up to nine times stronger, with far more fire protection and with far more sound insulation and occupant comfort. This is Canadian technology and our method is the one they want for net-zero projects in the United States.”
Solid concrete walls—alongside solar generation, geothermal heating and cooling, plus positioning your home to take advantage of natural light— are just a few of the features already available in the goal to net-zero. More details are available online at www.nudura.com.