Sustainable Energy Fund Breaks Ground on Net Zero Energy Office Building
On April 4, 2019, the Sustainable Energy Fund officially broke ground for a new 15,000 square-foot net zero energy office building. Drawing on Passive House strategies, the design sets a regional standard in sustainability—from both economic and performance perspectives.
Ed McGraw, founding partner and CEO of Ashley McGraw, said, “This project will demonstrate to the commercial sector that net zero energy can be achieved for the same costs as a conventional office building—something that the developer community has been reluctant to pursue. We’re excited to collaborate with a client like SEF, who shares our commitment to regenerative design, and the proven value it offers to all stakeholders.”
Located in the Lehigh Valley town of Schnecksville, PA, the SEF building will consume about 25% of the energy used by comparable commercial structures while generating more than 130% of the energy it needs. The building will be oriented on its site—within an existing apple orchard—to take maximum advantage of sun and shade, with its surfaces and openings precisely positioned to minimize energy expenditures. An array of photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof of the single-story building will generate all necessary energy for the operation of the facility. An array of photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof of the single-story building will generate all necessary energy for the operation of the facility. The building envelope isdesigned to incorporate high performance building principles such as continuous insulation and a close attention to airtightness. All building systems—from HVAC to plumbing to electrical and lighting are selected and engineered for optimal performance.