In recent years, there have been a growing number of projects and initiatives to promote the development and market
introduction of low and net-zero energy solar homes and communities. These projects integrate active solar technologies
to highly efficient houses to achieve very low levels of net-energy consumption. Although a reduction in the
energy use of residential buildings can be achieved by relatively simple individual measures, to achieve very high levels
of energy savings on a cost effective basis requires the coherent application of several measures, which together
optimise the performance of the complete building system. This article examines the design process used to achieve
high levels of energy performance in residential buildings. It examines the current design processes for houses used in
a number of international initiatives. The research explores how building designs are optimised within the current design
processes and discusses how the application of computerised optimisation techniques would provide architects, homebuilders,
and engineers with a powerful design tool for low and net-zero energy solar buildings.
Keywords : Optimisation, Low and net-Zero Energy Homes, Cost Effective Design.
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