Harvard HouseZero Typology Symposium

The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (CGBC) retrofitted its headquarters, a pre-1940s house in Cambridge, MA, into a first-of-its-kind test case to demonstrate unprecedented levels of building efficiency and promote substantial shifts in the design and operation of existing buildings. Dubbed “HouseZero,” the project aims to prove that ultra-efficient retrofits can, indeed, be achieved and replicated by coupling current technologies with better design.

All components of HouseZero are highly-sensored to generate data that will allow the building to adjust and reconfigure itself. This data will fuel future CGBC research involving simulated environments and the development of new systems and algorithms that can help to answer pressing questions involving energy efficiency, health and sustainability.

Scheduled to coincide with the completion of the retrofit, the Harvard HouseZero Typology Symposium will gather GSD faculty members to analyze the project. Presentations will discuss the building’s typology, design, and technologies, the collaborative process, historical context and more—resulting in a diverse range of observations that illustrate the complex issues involved in realizing an ultra-efficient retrofit and determining scalability. The program will conclude with a panel discussion.

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