Net Zero – Mechanical Details

Design Flexibility & Premium Performance in One Solution

Rendering of inside and outside zones of the netzero plank

Organized into two zones, each panel contains redundant microcircuits that create a robust system where the building edge and interior are independently controlled. Future flexible, any circuit can be rerouted as new penetrations are installed over the structure’s life.

Built to Last

PEX-a has been extensively tested at temperatures up to 205º F. In the NetZERO Building Platform, water temperatures run below 90º F, increasing the life expectancy of our radiant heating and cooling system well beyond 100 years, providing trouble free service for the life of the building.

Photo of PEX-a tubing

Image Credit: Uponor North America

Apple Prefabricated Radiant Flooring Production Photo

Our team has successfully installed over 2.5 Million SF of radiant office, fully integrated in the manufacturing process.

How Did We Achieve 40% Less Whole Life Carbon?

The NetZERO Building Platform, conservatively, has at least 40% less whole life carbon emissions than a business-as-usual all-electric building.

Micro Zoning and Self Learning Comfort Controls Provide Programing Flexibility and Adaptability

Rendering of micro zoning thermal control of netzero
Our prefabricated solution naturally breaks the building into 20′ wide thermal zones, allowing for a high resolution of control.  The controls then learn how the interior space interacts with the system to converge on the targeted comfort range.  The learning happens daily so changes in weather or even changes in programing will be automatically adjusted.  

System at a Glance

NetZERO Building Platform Mechanical Infograph
  1. The thermally active deck is the heart of the system. The prefabricated plank is how we deliver a Grid Flexible, high-performance building solution at a reduced cost.
  2. Exposed concrete is aesthetically pleasing and maximizes the radiant system’s power and effectiveness. This is of primary importance at the building perimeter, where heating and cooling requirements are most demanding.
  3. Radiant slabs use both the upper and lower surfaces to deliver comfort. Ceilings only need to reflect the acoustic treatment necessary for the space, allowing the radiant system to meaningfully contribute from overhead.
  4. Direct applied common thin carpet tiles allows the slab to meaningfully contribute from underfoot.
  5. Good solar control, shown here as exterior sunshades, is essential for the radiant slab system to maintain best in class thermal comfort and performance. Any means that limits peak size and rapid swings works, ranging from physical shading to electrochromic activated glass to any other architectural solution.
  6. Ceiling Fans are an integral part of the radiant slab system and provide occupants premium personalized comfort control . Able to run in reverse, the fans allow the slab to work around acoustical ceilings and increase capacity on the perimeter without creating unwanted draft at the occupant level year-round. Whenever desired, occupants can easily adjust direction and speed at their pleasure. The ceiling fans are ultra-low energy, functionally silent, and can be warrantied for decades.

More Efficient Than Leading All Electric Systems

Illustration showing 30% carbon savings from netzero

Source: Zallen, Noah. Integral Group “The Radiant Whole Life Carbon Study”

The NetZERO Building Platform reduces the total electricity use by 30%.  This results from a HVAC system that uses 57% less electricity than a VRF system.

Grid Flexible Operation

Take control of your electrical demand. The NetZERO Building Platform takes the largest energy system and lets you choose when draw to power.

Rendering of netzero grid flexible operation

This system not only drastically reduces electrical use, it also cuts heating and cooling equipment in half.

And if that weren’t enough, since it is able to operate only when the grid is cleanest, this system can reduce space heating and cooling emissions by over 65%.

Less is More

Mechanical systems are often central to a buildings energy discussion but are strangely omitted from consideration from an embodied carbon analysis.  The system type and size can have a dramatic impact on a buildings overall carbon profile.  The image below highlights the reduced embodied carbon that can be gained by leveraging the inherent storage within the NetZERO Building System to reduce equipment.

Mechanical illustration showing 68% carbon savings for netzero

Source: Zallen, Noah. Integral Group “The Radiant Whole Life Carbon Study”

Take a deeper dive.

Learn more about the NetZERO Building Platform structural system.

Technical drawing of NetZero building platform plank

Refrigerant Has Up To 2000 Times the Global Warming Potential of CO2

Invisible and often overlooked, refrigerant has become the modern solution to our energy problem. In recent years all electric buildings have trended toward VRF systems because they are energy efficient easy to install. These systems use refrigerant to transport the thermal energy throughout the building resulting in miles of copper pipe field assembled into an intricate maze. According to Refrigerants & Environmental Impacts: A best practices guide, leaks in field fabricated refrigerant systems are unavoidable, resulting in a median annual leakage rate is 6%. When combined with the sheer volume of refrigerant in VRF systems use the impact is staggering.

Our systems central plant uses water to transport thermal energy thoughout the building. A central plant uses only a fraction of the refrigerant used in a distributed system so refrigerant leakage is also a mere fraction.

Reference: Hamot, Louise “Refrigerants & Environmental Impacts: A best practices guide” Integral Group, September 2020 

Illustration showing 88% refrigeration leak carbon savings chart

Source: Zallen, Noah. Integral Group “The Radiant Whole Life Carbon Study”

Cost Effective - Construction Through Operations

  • Accelerated schedule with offsite construction
  • Less heating and cooling equipment required
  • Less maintenance, less moving parts
  • Reduced energy and operating costs
  • Lower tenant improvement costs

Looking for more information about NetZERO Building Platform?

Learn more about the structural system behind the NetZERO Building Platform

Learn more about the overall features and benefits of the NetZERO Building Platform

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Finishes Guide

Standard Finishes Guide

We offer a wide range of standard colors, forms and textures or a combination for our integrated envelope systems. The Standard Finishes Guide showcases our standard finishes and cost ranges.