The Path to Net-Zero: It’s Under Your Feet


It's Under Your Feet

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The buildings we live and work in account for about 40% of US energy consumption. So it’s no surprise that getting a building to net-zero energy can be a daunting task, especially if a high level of thermal comfort is also desired. That’s why radiant heating and cooling systems are increasingly incorporated into high-performance buildings.


A recent study by the New Buildings Institute found that about 30 percent of near net-zero buildings in the United States use radiant heating and cooling systems. And when we focus on net-zero energy buildings, they found that about half use radiant heating and cooling to meet some very impressive performance goals.



Hydronic systems using radiant heating and cooling can be very efficient when conditioning a space. Water simply has the potential to transfer far more heat than air because the specific heat of water is much greater than the specific heat of air. Therefore, distributing the same amount of heat in buildings can be done more efficiently by water than by air.


Now, while radiant energy is very efficient, both air-based systems and radiant heating and cooling have important roles to play in the built environment. In fact, the most effective systems use a hybrid of radiant and forced air.


To continue this dialogue, visit our Path to Net-Zero web page. Better yet, join us now for a pre-recorded, 8-minute webinar in which we further discuss the heat transfer principles behind radiant systems and take a closer look at how they contribute to superior energy efficiency.



View the webinar here.



By Ryan Westlund, Systems Engineering Specialist, REHAU Construction LLC