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National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Net-Zero Energy Test House is Inhabited by a Virtual Family
Posted By Al Bredenberg On September 18, 2012 @ 10:30 am In Architecture,energy efficiency,Environment,Green Building,News,Solar Power,Zero energy | No Comments
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a government science lab that is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, recently unveiled its Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility. But like a real-life version of the Sims, the house is inhabited not by real people, but by a virtual family. Built at a cost of $2.5 million in Gaithersburg, Md., near Washington, D.C., the test house includes extensive monitoring devices and computer equipment that will simulate the presence and activities of a family of four. A NIST announcement says that “No actual humans will be allowed to enter the house during this [first year] so that researchers can monitor how the house performs, but lights will turn on and off at specified times, hot water and appliances will run – and small devices will emit heat and humidity just as people would.”
Researchers will use the house to test energy-efficiency technologies and alternative energy systems. NIST Director Patrick Gallagher believes that the facility will “allow development of new design standards and test methods for emerging energy-efficient  technologies and, we hope, speed their adoption.”
Up to now, some net-zero homes have tended to skimp on size and amenities. But the NIST test facility is designed as a full-size 4,000-square-foot suburban home with four bedrooms and three baths. The building incorporates a highly-efficient building envelope, solar thermal water heating, photovoltaic (PV) solar systems , geothermal energy, smart metering, and specially-designed energy-efficient space conditioning and air distribution systems. The house is built to LEED Platinum standards.
Via Reuters 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/national-institute-of-standards-and-technologys-net-zero-energy-test-house-is-inhabited-by-a-virtual-family/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/09/NIST-NZERTF-net-zero-energy-house-test-facility-gaithersburg-maryland-virtual-family-house.jpg
 energy-efficient: http://inhabitat.com/energy-efficiency
 photovoltaic (PV) solar systems: http://inhabitat.com/solar-power
 + NIST Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility: http://www.nist.gov/el/nzertf/
 Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/17/us-netzero-lab-idUSBRE88G0W220120917?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews
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