Fred Berstein, I found your next target... potentially?


A remote chalet in Utah that is designed to generate 364% of its required energy on-site?


Tom Wiscombe Architecture’s Dark Chalet

Is 1 the required energy on-site, then?
How is it compiled?

@sanspareil - I’m not quite sure I understand your question.

To generate 100% of its required energy on-site would mean the building is generating as much energy as it uses, across an annual period. Also known as “Net-Zero Energy”.

I understand what is net zero, although, I do not believe in it.

My question is following:

How does one determine with exactitude the energy needed?


How does one determine with exactitude energy expended?

I say so because most building efficiencies, for starters, depend on sound design concept i.e., orientation, appropriate materials/engineering systems/enclosure details and quality of construction etc. I believe that most forced air systems are inefficient/faulty by design and end up with air leakages (ductwork) into interstitial (walls/ceiling) spaces and throwing treated air in the first 2’-3’ close to the ceiling. Humans do not live at that height. Even Aero Seal addresses such issues partially.

I have done R/D projects in Canada for NRC (National Building Code Body) where we worked with testing laboratories in Guelph, Ontario, thru actual wind tunnel and snow drift studies (flume testing), air/water penetration, ASTM IR imaging for humidity etc.

Now with Covid-19, the dynamics of fresh air and recycled air has also changed.

I am not a scientist or an engineer, but the basics of energy conservation/efficiency seem questionable.


I have great respect for all of you at CLF.

Pl say hello to Anthony Hickling and Andrew Himes.

Exactitude is not possible in design. Energy models are only our best assumptions at the end of the day.

Regardless of that… Fred A Bernstein (@fredabernstein) has written a few opinion pieces on buildings with “high sustainability regards” and I thought that this ridiculous over generation claim was up his alley.

If you haven’t read any Fred’s pieces, I highly recommend it.

Here are 2:

Amen, Scott.

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No issues, Scott.

I meant no disrespect.

I used to be on the then newly formed (2011-17) sustainability council of ICC and later vice chair.

It has oversight and advocacy purview over IECC and IgCC.

We went thru LEED, and not surprised, but understood as to why the industry bought into it.

Who does not want points, for ostensibly, good design

I shall send you an article on LEED, if interested.

Thanks for sending the link to Fred Bernstein.

I shall certainly read it.

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“All models are wrong, but some are useful”

George EP Box

Most claims of net zero energy should be looked at critically. All claims of net-zero carbon invite a great deal of skepticism. Honest negative numbers in the carbon world are very hard to come by, and most groups ignore most carbon in their zero carbon analyses.

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The 364% number they come up with assumes that this large 5,500 SF chalet in a remote location, full of the toys expected of a multi-millionaire owner, will annually draw only the same annual load as the 10,000 kWh average annual load over all U.S. households, which are predominantly much smaller single and multi-family units. I agree it is difficult to estimate what this place’s actual load might be, but this assumed load seems like an astoundingly poor (and misleading) base assumption.

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@Kjell_Anderson - well said, and agreed!

@csavage - this is why I thought it was a good target for Fred :slight_smile:

Tom Wiscbome… yikes