Featured Article

Happy 10th Birthday, CERV and Sunflower!

Ten years ago this summer, we began development of the CERV (pronounced “serve”), a new type of smart ventilation system for residences. Our objective then, as it remains today, is automated maintenance of the residential indoor environment. Human sense of smell is not a good indicator of good indoor air quality. Our overall goal is to think beyond energy, and to develop technologies that improve our health and well-being. Ten years later, we have demonstrated that you can have excellent indoor air quality and superb energy performance throughout all North American climatic zones.

Our initial CERV research results were presented at the 3rd North American Passive House conference in Duluth, MN in the fall of 2008. By 2010, we had developed and installed our first CERV units in our Equinox House project and two University of Illinois Solar Decathlon homes. We passed UL tests in 2012, and entered the marketplace in the summer of 2013. Over the past 5 years, CERV models have been shipped coast-to-coast, and from southern-to-northern North American latitudes.

Technology is changing at a breathtaking pace, and to take advantage of those advances, we created the CERV2. CERV2 production began in March of this year, and we have now moved beyond Tesla’s “production hell” phase. Watch for changes in our website for more details on the exciting features offered by the CERV2!

This is also the 10th birthday of Sunflower, our 3.2kW, two-axis solar PV array that was commissioned on July 4, 2008. Over the past 10 years, Sunflower has contributed 55,000kWh of energy for Build Equinox activities. With the addition of a 5.5kW stationary solar PV array (aka, “Sundial”) coupled with a number of building improvements (additional ceiling insulation, double-door entrances, LED lighting), our 4500sqft business facility is net zero! Of course, we always keep the air at Build Equinox CERV-fresh! Our March 2017 article describes our path to zero plus operation.

Stop by and visit us anytime to “kick the tires” on a new CERV2 as well as tour our remarkable facility!

This picture of the first CERV prototype was shown in our presentation at the 3rd North American Passive House Conference in Duluth in 2008. Ben presented heat pump energy exchange performance data from the prototype.
This CERV is in a high performance Vermod home. The CERV manages cool air from heat pump water heaters (“HPWH”, left foreground), allowing HPWH to be located in small mechanical rooms. Note the “post” electrical heater, operated by the CERV, that acts as a backup for the home’s ductless minisplit during extreme cold. The CERV requires no pre-heater protection.
Our new CERV2, similar in size to laundry appliances, offers more features, higher efficiency and easier installation. Zone dampers, remote sensors, hybrid geothermal (Geo-Boost), and over-the-air upgrading are just a few of the CERV2’s capabilities. Watch for future articles describing CERV2 applications.
Ben, Alex and Ty installed Sunflower 10 years ago. Sunflower is a 3.2kW, two-axis PV tracker that collects 5500kWh of energy per year. In the background is Sundial, our 5.5kW solar sculpture that produces 6000kWh per year with a total solar energy production sufficient to make Build Equinox’s 4500sqft building net zero. Note our hops-covered south façade that cools the building surface 40F on sunny, summer days. Hops die, retreating to their roots and uncovering the building for winter sunshine and warmth.

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DateTitle
October 8, 2019 Events – Free Webinar: Handling Humidity (Oct 24) 20191008
September 20, 2019 Featured Article – Handling Humidity Pt.2 Climate Moisture Variations 20190920
September 20, 2019 News – Brand New Release: Colorfil VOC Absorbing Filters! 20190920
September 20, 2019 Tech – From CERV to CERVEZA: a Quest for Smart Beer 20190920
August 27, 2019 Events – Earn Free CEUs with the Handling Humidity Webinar (Aug 29) 20190827
August 27, 2019 Featured Article – Handling Humidity Report Series 20190827
August 12, 2019 News – Listen to the Building HVAC Science Podcast, ft. Ty Newell! 20190812
July 29, 2019 Events – CERV2 Smart-er Ventilation Product Demo (Aug 27, 2019) 20190729
July 29, 2019 Featured Article – Poor Home Maintenance = Increased Health Risks 20190729
July 29, 2019 Tech – Say Hello to Our New Server! 20190729
June 19, 2019 Featured Article – Watch out for Cranky Heaters! 20190619
June 19, 2019 Events – Free CEU Webinar: Smart Ventilation & Air Distribution (July 10) 20190619
June 19, 2019 Spotlight – Marrakech Express! CERV2 Heading to Africa! 20190619
May 13, 2019 Featured Article – Taylor Home CERV Testimonial 20190513
May 13, 2019 Events – 7 Steps for Designing an Economical Net Zero Home (Video + PDF) 20190513
May 13, 2019 Tech – AeroBarrier Demonstration 20190513
April 15, 2019 Events – Indoor Air Quality Metrics Free Webinar (Apr 24, 2019) 20190415
April 15, 2019 Featured Article – CERV2 Geo–Boost Release 20190415
April 15, 2019 Review – 2019 National Home Performance Conference 20190415
April 15, 2019 Tech – CERV2 Sketchup Model Now Available 20190415
March 28, 2019 News – Visit us at the Chicago 2019 National Home Performance Conference 20190328
March 28, 2019 Featured Article – Happy Equinox, St. Patrick’s Day, and Super Moon! 20190328
February 27, 2019 Events – Free CEU Webinar: Smart Ventilation & Air Distribution (Mar 12) 20190227
February 27, 2019 Featured Article – Smart Ventilation and Smart Air Distribution Reports 20190227
February 27, 2019 Spotlight – El Salvador NZEB Update 20190227
February 25, 2019 Events – CERV2 Smart-er Ventilation Product Demo (Video + PDF) 20190225
January 22, 2019 Events – Smart Ventilation & Smart Air Distribution Webinar (Video & PDF) 20190122
December 26, 2018 Spotlight – Progressive Canada 20181226
December 26, 2018 News – Happy Holidays from Build Equinox! 20181226
December 26, 2018 Review – CERV2 at Greenbuild 2018 20181226
November 26, 2018 News – CERV OEM Filter Store is OPEN!!! 20181126
November 19, 2018 News – Check Out Our Social Media! 20181119
October 24, 2018 Events – Free CEU Webinar: Duct Design & Performance (PDF Download) 20181024
October 24, 2018 Featured Article – CERV2 is UL Approved! 20181024
October 24, 2018 News – Stop by Our Booth at Greenbuild Chicago (Free Tickets!) 20181024
October 24, 2018 Spotlight – University of Illinois Students Visit Build Equinox 20181024
July 23, 2018 Featured Article – Happy 10th Birthday, CERV and Sunflower! 20180723
July 23, 2018 Spotlight – Good News from El Salvador! 20180723
June 22, 2018 Tech – Installing a Ductless Mini-split 20180622
June 22, 2018 Featured Article – Mini-split Mania! 20180622
April 30, 2018 News – Now offering on-demand webinars for CEUs! 20180430
April 30, 2018 Events – Free CEU Webinar! (May 2, 2018) 20180430
April 30, 2018 Featured Article – Ductology Part 2 20180430
February 19, 2018 Review – 2018 Better Buildings by Design Conference, Flu and Colds 20180219
February 19, 2018 Featured Article – Hot Water! 20180219
January 22, 2018 Events – Visit us at BuildingEnergy Boston! (March 7-9, Boston, MA) 20180122
January 22, 2018 Events – Efficiency Vermont Better Buildings by Design Conference (Feb 7-8) 20180122
January 22, 2018 Featured Article – Ductology (Part 1) 20180122
November 20, 2017 Featured Article – Heat Pump (Hybrid) Clothes Dryers are Coming! 20171120
October 31, 2017 Featured Article – CERV2 Measures IAQ at NAPHC & NAPHN 20171031
September 25, 2017 Featured Article – Introducing CERV2 20170925
August 21, 2017 Events – Free CEU Webinar! (Sep 27, 2017) 20170821
August 21, 2017 Featured Article – Quiz 20170821
July 27, 2017 Events – New IAQ Metrics Webinar (Video + PDF) 20170727
July 25, 2017 Featured Article – Endotoxins: Small But Very Significant 20170725
May 22, 2017 Events – Economical Net Zero Design Webinar (Video+PDF) 20170522
May 22, 2017 Featured Article – Styrax Japonicus 20170522
April 28, 2017 Events – 7 Steps for Designing an Economical Net Zero Home (May 25) 20170428
April 28, 2017 Featured Article – Engineering Net Zero Homes 20170428
March 20, 2017 Featured Article – Build Equinox Zero Plus Facility 20170320
February 14, 2017 Featured Article – February Flu 20170214
January 20, 2017 Events – HRV, ERV and Smart Vent Systems, Free CEU Webinar (Feb 15) 20170120
January 20, 2017 Events – NESEA IAQ Metrics Presentation (Mar 9, Boston, MA) 20170120
January 19, 2017 Featured Article – The Perfect Dust Storm 20170119
January 12, 2017 Events – Efficiency Vermont Better Buildings by Design Conference (Feb 1-2) 20170112
December 26, 2016 Featured Article – Happy Holidays from Build Equinox! 20161226
November 29, 2016 Featured Article – Geo-Boost 20161129
November 29, 2016 Spotlight – This Old Passive House 20161129
November 29, 2016 Review – House Music 20161129
October 28, 2016 Featured Article – Comparing ERV, HRV, and CERV 20161028
October 28, 2016 Spotlight – Net Zero Eco-House (Monticello, IL) 20161028
October 28, 2016 Spotlight – Forty Under 40 20161028
September 28, 2016 Events – Free CEU Webinar (Oct 5th): Why are new Indoor Air Quality metrics needed? 20160928
September 28, 2016 Review – 2016 North American Passive House Conference 20160928
September 28, 2016 Featured Article – New CERV-ICE IAQ Analytics Released! 20160928
September 28, 2016 Spotlight – CERVs in Passive Homes, pt. 2 20160928
August 18, 2016 Featured Article – Understanding the House as a System 20160818
August 18, 2016 Spotlight – CERVs in Passive Homes 20160818
August 18, 2016 Review – “What is IAQ?”, P. Ole Fanger 20160818
August 18, 2016 Tech – CERV CO2/VOC Library 20160818
July 19, 2016 Events – September North American Passive House Conference 20160719
July 18, 2016 News – CERV Website 20160718
July 18, 2016 Featured Article – VERMOD CERV Report Released 20160718
July 18, 2016 Review – LBNL report: “Houses are Dumb Without Smart Ventilation” 20160718
July 18, 2016 Spotlight – Professor P. Ole Fanger (1934-2006); IAQ and Comfort Pioneer 20160718
July 18, 2016 Tech Note – Airflow Calculation for Ventilation Systems 20160718
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