NRCan – Living Lab

"Building as Power Plant"

Constructed with Engineering wood and R55 structural insulated panels, this 4100 square foot prefabricated, mobile demountable and reuseable building is super energy efficient and energy autonomous. It has been designed for 25 office workers on a campus site in Ottawa.

As a proof-of-concept project it is intended to demonstrate the practical feasibility of Net Zero Energy buildings, even in the extreme climate of Ottawa. EE4 and DOE energy analysis indicates the building will consume 80% less than an equivalent building constructed to the current Model National Energy Code.

A powerful aesthetic device, the 200 panel Sanyo HIT - 40 Kw photovoltaic system produces on average 123 kWhrs per day. The daily average consumption for heating, cooling lighting and powering the building is 72 kWhrs per day. The system generates more electricity than it consumes fro 8 months of the year. The PV panels provide shading on the south facing windows. Pop-out, flip-up or roll-down insulated shutters provide R7 thermal protection at night and on weekends.

The hydronic HVAC system is flexible and made for the "plug and play"s of different possible energy sources. It is designed to be supplied by electricity from the PV panels or the grid. An under floor air distribution provides fresh air with an ERV. Carbon dioxide detectors determine the ventilation air supply needs. Operable windows are connected to the Energy Management Control System. Windows are triple glazed, low e argon filled with a U value of .238 Btu/hr/square foot.

The building form is comprised of 2 modular pods, one floating atop the other and elongated to maximize southern exposure. A narrow floor plate allows the open plan to be entirely illuminated by daylight. Using the most energy efficient lighting LED and fluorescent fixtures the total power density is 1.9 w/square foot. The use of occupancy sensors, photosensors and dimmers will allow us to further reduce these lighting loads by another 50% to 75%.