Humanity’s impact on the environment is one of the issues at the forefront of the concerns of society. As more environmentally conscious generations become homeowners, there will be a trend towards the development and purchase of carbon neutral houses. This case study is based on 3D renderings produced from BEoptTM (Building Energy Optimization), a software developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in support of the U.S. Department of Energy. The software provides a detailed simulation-based analysis that shows the affects that varying construction materials have on the energy consumption of a home. It also shows the how different climates impact that energy requirements of a home, and highlights the importance of location when creating a property that is carbon neutral with a net-zero energy consumption. By taking the insulating materials used to construct the home, and increasing their capacity to resist heat flow; the energy demands of a home can be lowered enough to be fully met by the inclusion of solar panels. To compensate for the carbon emissions shown by the BEopt analysis, terrestrial sequestration can be used. The use of a single acre of land for tree planting can sequester enough carbon to fully offset the yearly carbon production of the home. This case study is an analysis on the feasibility of producing a single-family, residential property that is carbon neutral with a net-zero energy consumption in the United States.
Semester/Year of Award
Dr. Bryan Dyer
Department of Applied Engineering and Technology
Open Access Thesis
Applied Engineering and Technology
Grove, Josh, "The Race to Zero: Carbon Neutral Construction for Residential Buildings" (2018). Honors Theses. 542.