A net-zero energy senior housing facility opened recently at Beckstoffer's Mill in the historic neighborhood of Church Hill in Richmond, Va. A big driver to achieve net-zero was to offer affordable housing with reduced energy costs for low-income seniors. The seven-unit building, designed by architecture firm Baskervill, has 98 photovoltaic solar panels and six hot water panels on its roof that supply energy for electricity and hot water.
The building's panels have the ability to store surplus energy to be used when the sun does not shine. Other features include an energy recovery ventilation system that brings fresh air in and takes stale air out, EnergyStar appliances, low-flow toilets, and high-performance, double-glazed windows. The units are also handicap accessible and universally designed.
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