Setting new standards now and building
a sustainable legacy for future generations.
Sol Lux Alpha is the first multi-unit residence in the country to combine passive house and nanogrid technology for a uniquely—and completely—carbon-neutral lifestyle.
A Net Zero Energy (NZE) building produces as much energy as it uses, whereas a Net Positive (N+E) structure produces more energy than it uses, which can then be put toward charging electric vehicles on site or exported back to the local grid. In this development model, enough renewable energy is stored within the building for it and all major systems (including 120V for electric vehicle charging) to run without grid power for extended periods of time.
Pioneering Nanogrid Features
Nanogrid structures are isolated, self-sustaining systems that support both the usage and storage of solar energy.
Solar Photovoltaics (PV)
The building's power comes from 96 Bi-Facial BIPV solar modules locally supplied by SunPreme.
- Each unit has twenty-one (21) dedicated panels.
- Modules allow filtered light through, gently shading the decks, lounge, and outdoor kitchen spaces on the roof.
- 35.5 Kw array produces up to 30% MORE power (up to 46 Kw) due to the “bi-facial effect” of having solar receptors on both the top and underside to utilize reflected and ambient light energy from the deck and surrounding city below.
Storage and Management
Each unit comes with three (3) Tesla battery packs and the common area utilizes Sony Lithium Iron Phosphate battery banks.
- The Energy Storage System (ESS) and Energy Management System (EMS) are provided by project partners Blue Planet Energy of Hawaii.
- The Sony/BPE system carries an 8000 cycle (approximately 22 years) life warranty to 60% of original capacity.
Advanced Passive House Construction
Passive design incorporates the highest insulation standards paying special attention to thermal breaks, utilizing significantly less energy than typical buildings and optimizing the benefits of a nanogrid system.
The energy-efficient LED fixtures installed throughout the building reduce Sol Lux Alpha's lighting electric energy consumption dramatically. Additional strategies are incorporated, including ultrasonic motion detectors reducing ”vampire loads” in receptacles.
Sanden CO2 Heat Pump Water heaters are utilized throughout resulting in energy savings of over 70% compared to conventional hot water heaters. Sanden’s patented CO2 refrigerant technology has 1/1000 the global warming impact as refridgerant used in other HPWH’s.
Virtually Air-Tight Construction
Air infiltration is a major source of inefficiency in all types of buildings. The Passive House system virtually eliminates infiltration-related heat loss with carefully sealed, and rigorously tested, exterior joints and penetrations.
Ventilation, Cooling and Heating
Passive House buildings are continuously ventilated with fresh, filtered outside air through Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs). This device allows the clean heat, cooled air and controlled humidity to stay inside as the stale inside air is exchanged for fresh outside air.
Eco-Minded Materials and Fixtures
The FSC certified, non-formaldehyde, very low to zero VOC materials selected for finishes promote a healthy and safe indoor environment, durability and high-performance, as well as optimize the lifecycle of materials while requiring less maintenance. US EPA "Watersense" Certified plumbing fixtures and valves are installed throughout.
Sol Lux Alpha also recognizes its responsibility to conserve California's precious supply of water. Highly reflective pots populated with designs by Flora Grubb occupy the roof deck to decrease water usage and irrigation.
High-Performance Building Insulation
The windows and doors of a conventional home account for the largest losses of energy. Passive House windows and doors employ strict limits on air infiltration and thermally-modeled insulative qualities. Further lowering heating and cooling energy costs, Sol Lux Alpha incorporates High Density Blown-in-Blanket Insulation, and other enhanced insulations, providing energy-modeled excellent thermal resistance—additionally reducing unwanted noise intrusion.
Sol-Lux Alpha is the first building in San Francisco to achieve an "alternate path of compliance" to SF's rigid Green Building Code. Using three certifying bodies, testing resulted in unmatched efficiencies for energy use, as well as utilizing the highest standards of sustainability.
The US Energy Star program guides builders and homeowners to the highest efficiency home appliance and other home energy products available in the USA today.
US EPA WaterSense
The US EPA WaterSense program helps save water and protects the environment by promoting WaterSense labeled products for homes, yards, and businesses, while taking various other simple steps to save water each day.
Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy has developed a partner program dedicated to the building of, the science behind and the energy generation for Zero Net Energy and Net Positive Energy homes in the US. Sol Lux Alpha was built to exceed even the DOE program's highest standards, which is measured and recognized a year after occupancy.
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