The first One Planet Living residents in the U.S. have moved in to the Grow Community near Seattle, endorsed as a One Planet Community by BioRegional only last year. A young couple and their two dogs are living in the first Net Zero Home, working closely with developer Asani to monitor their progress toward Zero Carbon living in the home. READ MORE >>
The13-story La Jolla Commons II office building, under construction in the University Towne Centre area, will be the largest "net-zero" energy building in the U.S., according to its developer, the Hines real estate firm.
The 415,000-square-foot building at 4707 Executive Drive was designed by AECOM and is being built by Whiting-Turner Contracting. Hines is developing the project in partnership with J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
Construction began in April and is expected to be completed in April 2014.
To achieve zero net energy use, Hines is employing directed biogas and
onsite fuel cells. Bloom Energy's cells will generate a projected 5
million kilowatts of electricity annually, equivalent to about 1,000
homes. READ MORE >>
Painters Hall in Salem, Ore. and IDeAs Z2 Design Facility in San Jose, Calif., have been awarded third-party certification, just five months after the International Living Future Institute launched the Net Zero Energy Building Certification option
Two projects, both existing building retrofits, have completed the first full set of third-party audits for Net Zero Energy Building Certification from the International Living Future Institute.
Painters Hall, a community building in the Pringle Creek community in Salem, Ore., and IDeAs Z2 Design Facility, an office building for Integrated Design Associates in San Jose, Calif., each earned certification as net zero energy buildings. Painters Hall also achieved ‘Petal Recognition’ under the Living Building Challenge.
Net Zero Energy Building Certification is linked to the Living Building Challenge, widely considered to be the world’s most stringent and progressive green building program. As with the Living Building Challenge, certification is based on actual performance rather than modeled outcomes. Buildings must be operational for at least 12 consecutive months prior to evaluation. To earn Net Zero Energy Building Certification, three of the Living Building Challenge’s 20 Imperatives must be met completely, and elements of two others are included.
“With recent research and news reports putting the net zero energy market at more than $1 trillion by 2035, third-party certification is critical. Until now, it’s been impossible to know if projects claiming to be net zero are performing as expected,” says Jason F. McLennan, the Institute’s CEO. “Our sincere hope is that those who pursue the net zero energy path seek to further transform the industry -- and the world – by pursuing Living Building Challenge certification as the next logical step in project evolution. The Painters Hall project exemplifies this effort.”
The developers of Pringle Creek Community converted an 80-year-old existing building into an ecologically and socially progressive community center within the 32-acre mixed-use redevelopment in Salem. A 20.2kw rooftop array of solar panels produces enough energy for the building’s needs. The project achieved the Energy, Equity, and Beauty Petals of the Living Building Challenge. The Net Zero Energy Building Certification requirements are encompassed within these petals.
The Ideas Z2 Facility transformed a U.S. Bank building constructed in the 1960s. It is designed to meet 100 percent of its net energy requirements using renewable energy from photovoltaics. The building has a net-metered rooftop photovoltaic system that provides enough electricity for the building’s needs.
When the Darla Moore School of Business is completed next year, the University of South Carolina will have 1.2 million square feet of green building space. The Moore School will be the largest net-zero building in the world.
Since actor Brad Pitt founded the non-profit Make It Right in 2007 to build low-cost, sustainable homes for New Orleans' Hurricane Katrina victims, green building has exploded nationwide. On Friday, two builders are announcing plans to offer affordable homes designed to produce as much energy as they use -- one of which is a stylish modern prefab to benefit Pitt's charity.
California-based LivingHomes, a developer of high-end, ultra-green, factory-built homes, is debuting its lowest-cost model ever -- the C6 -- that will be available in most states. The 1,232 square-foot. $179,000 prefab, which is about half the size of the average new U.S. home, has three bedrooms and two baths as well as a courtyard that blends indoor and outdoor living. Part of the proceeds from each home's sale will be donated to Make It Right.
"This is by far the most energy-efficient home we've built," says LivingHomes' CEO Steve Glenn, noting it's designed to earn the top or platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. He says it's also the easiest and fastest one to build, since it's fully constructed by Cavco -- a manufactured housing company with factories nationwide -- in less than two months and installed on-site in one day.
Also late this week, Scottsdale-based Shea Homes, the developer of Trilogy resort communities and a builder in eight states, is announcing the launch of its "no-electric bill" home aimed at the age 55-plus, Baby Boomer set. The "SheaXero" will combine energy efficiency with solar panels to produce all the power the house is expected to need. READ MORE >>
Since 1990, the Friends of theEnvironment Foundation at Toronto-Dominion Bank has helped fund more than 19,000 environmental projects with the aim of helping Canadian communities to reduce, reuse and recycle. Recently, TD added another “r” to this list: renovation.
In October, the bank unveiled a newly renovated branch in London, Ont., that is designed to produce as much energy as it uses. The solar panels at the retrofitted building will generate more than 100,000 kilowatt-hours of green electricity, the bank says.
The renovation follows TD’s construction of a new branch in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which it says is the first ever “net-zero energy” building of its size in the retail world. Developing this branch, which has been open for five months, was an easy decision, says Roger Johnson, TD’s senior vice-president of enterprise real estate, since the bank had sufficient land to put the solar array on, and the state gets plenty of sunshine.
The zero-energy principle is becoming more practical as traditional fossil fuels become more expensive, says architect Paul Dowsett, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited principal at Sustainable.TO, a Toronto firm dedicated to green design. The renovation should protect the building from the future rising costs of energy, he says. READ MORE >>
John “Bill” Taylor, ASLA, of Carol R. Johnson Associates, and Mark Walsh-Cooke and Tom Kennedy of Arup, gave a talk on “The Next Generation of Net-Zero Park Design” at the 2011 ASLA annual meeting.
Problem: the earth’s resources are finite. The amount of usable freshwater, air, and, of course, oil, make up a very small amount of the planet. And, with the population growing, scarcity is bound to increase. Complicating matters, climate change is real. We will continue to see more flood events as the amount of rain is concentrated in fewer, stronger storms. More and more, our lives will be interrupted by unpredictable weather patterns. Tom Kennedy with Arup asked, “Where do we draw the line?”
“Net-zero” parks may be part of a global effort to deal with these changes. Bill Taylor, a landscape architect with Carol R. Johnson Associates, said that “the next generation of parks will be part of a massive urban and regional retrofitting.” Net-zero is a term used to quantify sustainability by paying close attention to a project’s impacts and resource consumption – usually in terms of water, carbon, and energy. When it comes to designing net-zero parks, however, there are more questions than answers. How is net-zero defined? According to Kennedy, net-zero is a lot like the term “sustainability” in that there are almost as many definitions for it as there are references to it. For landscape purposes, should net-zero refer to operational or lifetime costs? Does it involve offsetting carbon or energy expenditures? Does it consider the carbon impact of deliveries made to the site, or of importing water? ”Net-zero is not really well defined yet,” said Kennedy. He proposes that while the definition is flexible, one should decide on their own definition of net-zero early on in a project’s lifespan. READ MORE >>
Designing buildings that leave a lighter imprint on the environment has become the de facto standard these days. The target for many is zero net energy use, meaning that a building makes as much energy as it uses over the course of a year.
Stretching over 130 acres on the campus, which is just west of Sacramento, the initial phase of this $280 million project officially opened last weekend with the completion of 315 apartments, 42,500 square feet of commercial space and a recreation center. Once it is completed in 2013, the development will be home to about 3,000 students, faculty and staff in apartments and single-family houses. READ MORE >>
Net Zero is the latest buzzword around the green building industry. The implication is that we should strive for buildings that consume only as much energy as they generate on site. The Living Building Challenge has set this target and the 2030 Challenge aims for zero carbon emissions from buildings by 2030. But is this the right end goal? While achieving net zero is laudable, in the Canadian climate it may be a technically unrealistic target or, at best, financially impractical, because of the significant capital investment required in on-site renewable energy generation.
Energy Use in Today’s Buildings
So if net zero is not a realistic target, what should today’s goal be? To answer this question, we must first look at where conventional and green buildings are today. Currently the average Canadian commercial/institutional building uses close to 400 ekWh/m2 [1440MJ/m2] on an annual basis. Schools, offices and MURBs are on the low side of this number and hospitals, sports facilities, and retail centres are on the high side. Looking back at its 100 LEED certified projects, Enermodal Engineering discovered that the actual energy use of the monitored projects is 45% less than the Canadian average, or just over 200 ekWh/m2. For the most part, these savings were achieved by focusing on a few critical areas: airtight envelope, efficient lighting, and high performance mechanical equipment – including ventilation heat recovery.
A Realistic Goal
So if net zero isn’t realistic based on where conventional and most green buildings are today, then what is? We believe a realistic and cost effective target is 100kWh/m2 [360MJ/m2]. There are three reasons why this is a better goal: READ MORE >>