Renewable Energy Systems for Building Designers presents a comprehensive introduction to the latest resources and technologies used in high performance and net zero energy buildings, with a practical focus on the design and integration of these systems. This textbook and convenient reference offers a single-source guide to renewable technologies, balancing broad knowledge with the details of implementation crucial for successful sustainable design. It equips students and professionals with foundations and critical information needed to confidently plan for and meet the highest standards of energy efficiency in new construction and retrofitted buildings.

Part I of the book establishes key principles of renewable systems, power production, and design for climate, introducing energy modeling and measurements of performance. Part II focuses in more depth on renewable energy systems, including photovoltaics, heat pumps, solar thermal, and more. Dedicated chapters break down the fundamental concepts behind each renewable technology and present guidelines for configuration and installation including system requirements, equipment specification, sizing, and location of components. Part III discusses topics relevant across renewable systems, including energy storage, control and monitoring, and cost/payback calculation. Part IV comprises case studies of exemplary renewable energy projects.


  • Covers resources and technologies including photovoltaics, solar thermal hot water, heat pumps, biomass, wind and microhydro turbines, marine renewable energy, deep cycle rechargeable batteries, and system controllers.
  • Compiles up-to-date, essential information on designing with renewable systems in one location, organized by technology for easy reference.
  • Presents clear explanations of all concepts and system aspects, using US/SI units and full-color diagrams and illustrations throughout.
  • Features case studies of renewable energy systems in completed projects, demonstrating a range of climate specific applications.
  • Includes study questions, a comprehensive guide to terminology and acronyms, spreadsheets for calculations, system sizing worksheets, and additional online resources.

Renewable Energy Systems for Building Designers: Fundamentals of Net Zero and High Performance Design will serve as an essential introduction and enduring reference for students of architecture, engineering, construction, and building science. Equally valuable as a professional resource, it will quickly become the go-to guide for energy efficient design for practitioners in these areas.

part I|99 pages

Introduction to Renewable Energy and Building Performance

chapter 1|17 pages


chapter 2|6 pages

Basic Concepts of Renewable Systems

chapter 3|12 pages

Locating Renewable Resources

chapter 4|6 pages

Basic Concepts about Electricity

chapter 5|18 pages

Solar Insolation

chapter 6|12 pages

Design for the Climate

chapter 7|13 pages

Building Performance and Energy Efficiency

chapter 8|4 pages

Energy Modeling

chapter 9|7 pages

Indoor Air Quality

part II|117 pages

Renewable Energy: Systems and Design

chapter 10|7 pages


chapter 11|14 pages

Heat Pumps

chapter 12|23 pages

Solar Thermal Hot Water

chapter 13|23 pages


chapter 14|10 pages

Racking for Solar Thermal and PV

chapter 15|15 pages


chapter 16|14 pages


chapter 17|5 pages

Marine Renewable Energy

part III|31 pages

System Implementation, Monitoring, and Payback

chapter 18|9 pages

Batteries and Energy Storage

chapter 19|5 pages

Controllers and Monitors

chapter 20|4 pages

Backup Power

chapter 21|4 pages

Costing and Payback

chapter 22|5 pages

Resiliency and Power

part IV|34 pages

Case Studies

chapter 23|32 pages

Case Studies

chapter 23A|7 pages

Rocky Mountain Institute, Innovation Center

chapter 23B|4 pages

City of Libby Microhydro PRV

chapter 23C|9 pages

University of Hawaii FROGs Classrooms

chapter 23D|5 pages

YWCA Northcentral PA

chapter 23E|3 pages

125 Haus