Net zero energy buildings have lower life cycle costs than standard buildings.
Small increase in thermal insulation levels reduce energy consumption up to 30%.
Higher levels of PV installation is preferred.
Battery storage is feasible for a wide range of capacities in the long term.
The Bahamas’ residential sector has a large potential for feasible sustainable development.
In this paper a whole building optimization approach is used to assess the building performance and design of residential homes in The Bahamas with the goal of providing objective data for policy makers to achieve the sustainability goals in the country by minimizing carbon emissions and life cycle costs. This study accounts for the effects of building envelope improvements as well as a renewable energy system in the form of PV and battery electricity storage simultaneously in achieving the optimization objectives. EnergyPlus and jEPlus + EA provide the platform for this study, which implements the non-sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) to find optimal solutions to building envelope design and renewable energy integration. Optimal design solutions are compared to a standard building model developed from audited data to provide an understanding of the interactions between the design objectives and optimal configurations. The results show that improvements to the thermal envelope and both the use of PV and battery storage are feasible and potentially advantageous to current building designs. Additionally, the results show a reduction in the NPV of up to 40%, with a net positive and carbon negative status, as well as a reduction in the yearly building energy consumption of up to 30%
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