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Wow! The first years energy bills from this small office building show that it almost heats itself! Pre-construction calculations showed that the combined heat produced by lighting, computers and other office equipment, and the five or six full-time office staff would almost provide all the heat needed to keep this building warm on all but the coldest days of winter. The resistance electric wall heaters in each room come on for just a few minutes each morning as the staff is arriving at work, then the lighting and other equipment take over to keep the building warm throughout the day. The heat is turned down at night by set-back thermostats, so no energy is wasted. The expansive east facing windows help the morning sun warm the building, then the relatively bare south and west sides keep the sun from over heating the building in the mid-day and afternoon.
The expansive south facing roof area has enough room for 9 KW of Photo Voltaic panels, which would take it to Net-Zero-energy for most occupancies in most climate zones in the US.
The upstairs was originally designed as a separate office suite, but could easily be used as an apartment or owner’s suite with the addition of a shower in the bath, and kitchen facilities in the front room.
This plan won Commercial Project of the Year honors for it’s Energy Efficiency,compact yet efficient floor plan, and the use of design elements that allowed it to fit neatly into a residentail neighborhood.