Home Retrofitting for NZE – 4 Class Series

Location: Sonoma Mountain Village Event Center  Valley House Dr ., Rohnert Park, CA

Friday, September 27, 2013 at 7:30 AM – Friday, October 11, 2013 at 4:30 PM (PDT) please click here for registration

Friday, September 27,  7:30am – 4:30am

1) Zero Net Energy – Deep Retrofit Overview, Taught by Ann Edminster

This introductory class covers zero net energy (ZNE) definitions and their implications for setting ZNE and/or deep energy retrofit goals. A case study will illustrate a holistic design approach that addressed the building enclosure, space conditioning, and occupant priorities and lifestyle factors. Issues influencing renewable energy system selection and design will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives for this class:

  • Describe and compare the four principal definitions of “zero net energy” homes and understand the relationship to deep energy reductions (DER);
  • Work as part of a collaborative design team to establish performance goals and priorities for ZNE/DER home retrofit projects;
  • Evaluate the opportunities to incorporate passive and climate-responsive design strategies in existing homes; and
  • Identify factors that influence selection of home renewable energy systems.

Friday, October 4th,  7:30am – 4:30am

2) Envelope Retrofit Strategies, Taught by Rick Chitwood and Gavin Healy

This class will provide guidance for overcoming barriers to achieving high thermal resistance and low air leakage in our high performance retrofits. Topics discussed include wall, roof, and floor assembly options, their implications and decision factors.

Learning Objectives for this class:

  • Evaluate and select appropriate foundation, wall, and roof retrofit strategies based on opportunities for and constraints to achieving efficient enclosures during ZNE/DER home retrofits;
  • Discuss the specific retrofit techniques used to improve existing assemblies, and the use of assessment tools to implement these techniques
  • Evaluate the benefits of replacing existing windows – or not – based on performance properties of the existing windows and improvements that can be achieved by replacing them;
  • Select window coverings and shading strategies that are climate-appropriate;
  • Explain the relationship between enclosure quality, mechanical systems, and energy performance in home retrofit projects.

Saturday, October 5th,  7:30am – 4:30am

3) Mechanical System Retrofits, Taught by Rick Chitwood

This class presents the new approach to HVAC work essential for delivering the system performance levels required in ZNE homes. This training discusses how designers can specify and contractors can provide systems that meet the requirements through changes to system design, equipment selection, equipment sizing, duct location and sizing, supply grille selection and sizing, and ventilation.

Learning Objectives for this class:

  • Examine the selection criteria for your mechanical systems team;
  • Identify the variables most important to optimizing the performance of space heating and cooling systems;
  • Evaluate and prioritize mechanical system upgrade options for ZNE/DER home retrofit projects based on existing conditions and potential for improvement;
  • Evaluate and prioritize upgrade options for water heating and distribution systems based on existing conditions and potential for improvement; and
  • Ensure the quality control that is critical to achieving true ZNE/DER home performance.


Friday, October 11th,  7:30am – 4:30am

4) People and Plug Loads, Taught by Ann Edminster and Chris Calwell

This class addresses the role of occupant choices and behaviors in energy use, and outlines strategies that can be incorporated into home retrofit projects to support ZNE/DER goals. Topics include lighting, appliance, and electronics plug load – when to replace, and with what; automation; demand response; and home energy monitoring and management.

Learning Objectives for this class:

  • Understand the role of occupant choices and behaviors on home energy use, and the importance of occupant education and engagement strategies;
  • Evaluate when it’s time to replace appliances and lighting and how to select high-efficiency replacements;
  • Assess the value of retrofitting home automation systems in ZNE/DER projects;
  • Select and apply home energy monitoring and management strategies to minimize home energy use.

Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided during each class.

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