This paper presents a multi-objective redesign case study of an archetype solar house based on a near net zero energy (NZE) demonstration home located in Eastman, Quebec. Using optimization techniques, pathways are identified from the original design to both cost and energy optimal designs. An evolutionary algorithm is used to optimize trade-offs between passive solar gains and active solar generation, using two objective functions: net-energy consumption and life-cycle cost over a thirty-year life cycle. In addition, this paper explores different pathways to net zero energy based on economic incentives, such as feed-in tariffs for on-site electricity production from renewables. The main objective is to identify pathways to net zero energy that will facilitate the future systematic design of similar homes based on the concept of the archetype that combines passive solar design; energy-efficiency measures, including a geothermal heat pump; and a building-integrated photovoltaic system. Results from this paper can be utilized as follows: (1) systematic design improvements and applications of lessons learned from a proven NZE home design concept, (2) use of a methodology to understand pathways to cost and energy optimal building designs, and (3) to aid in policy development on economic incentives that can positively influence optimized home design.

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Conference 2014 ASHRAE Winter Conference
Bucking, S, Athienitis, A. (Andreas), & Zmeureanu, R. (Radu). (2014). Multi-objective optimal design of a near net zero energy solar house. In ASHRAE Transactions (pp. 224–235).