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Energy Efficient Design

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I'm currently working on a zero net energy residence and would like to know if we have access to any tutorials, templates or worksheets to help assemble data for calculations? I have been looking at the worksheet formulas for wall and roof areas and am curious if any systems have already been developed.

Other suggestions would be welcome.


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A few years ago I did a net zero home. The project was a great success. The house literally produced more energy than it used. Of course "end-user hands-on management" was partly if not totally responsible for that (read: the husband/client was particularly anal). And of course, the couple divorced within a year...

But I digress.

In that project we determined that we needed a specialist, a passive solar engineer, and he did all the calc's, using "Energy 10" software (I'm sure there are other such products now). It's a pretty complex system and I was more than happy to collaborate with everyone involved.

Bottom line: You should seriously consider exporting your data to an energy calc program. It will tell you everything you need to know. Or, if you can afford it, find a specialist and let them do their thing!

I'm not saying that you couldn't do it all in VW's, but I fear it will be a long and tedious process. Why reinvent the wheel??

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Thanks for the responses everyone. To clarify - I have been studying with the NESEA and have completed my ZNE certification taught by Mark Rosenbaum,PE, who also teaches the PHPP certification classes. Mark kindly makes available to class members his proprietary software templates which are modeled on the PHPP standards. With these templates we, the students, complete a ZNE model as a final project, which I have completed. My question to the community goes to preparing a worksheet to compile date for use in my energy analysis. This would primarily be area for the house components, walls, roofs, slabs, window and doors, etc. I've read that we can construct a worksheet and use area calc formulas for gross and net areas and wondered, would I be roughing out a template from scratch or has VW provided anything of the sort.

Thanks for your comments and interest,


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Hello visard,

I took that same class with Marc. Great class.

If I remember correctly the information that you need is pretty basic. I did mine w/ vectorworks as well. I don't know if I made any worksheets to pull out the data or not, but I will check. If you search this board there is a lot of examples of people who have shared worksheets to do material take off of one kind or another. I would see if that turns up anything you could modify to your needs. I have often thought it would be great to set up VW to give me all the data for material take off and energy models, but I haven't been doing much design lately. There was a REScheck worksheet that someone created that used a combination of worksheets, records and classes to pull out the data need for rescheck, that might be a good place to start.

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