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Archive »Case Studies Using Energy Technologies

Stevens Library at Sacred Heart Schools: Atherton, Calif.

For schools in drought-stricken areas, net zero energy and water strategies help future-proof against utility rate hikes. But, the price tag for net zero can be too high for school budgets. Fortunately, a library project at Sacred Heart School in northern California illustrates that it is possible to deliver a net zero energy building within a conventional budget while teaching kids about the value of conserving resources.

The Edge: Atlanta

Existing buildings hold tremendous potential for reducing the overall environmental impact of energy used by buildings. One Atlanta design firm sought to prove the possibilities for energy excellence in an existing building by transforming a 1940s former hardware shop. Located in a historic neighborhood undergoing revitalization, the project also exemplifies the complexities involved and care required to maintain ongoing performance in a living, breathing building.

Roxbury E+ Townhomes: Boston

Conceived as a replicable prototype for family-friendly, energy-efficient urban townhomes, this four-unit project in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood is proving the possibilities for market-rate, high performance housing. Traditionally, highly sustainable housing has been designed on a custom basis, available to customers willing to pay the associated cost premium. This net positive energy project proves that sustainable housing can also be affordable for homeowners, make business sense for developers and help reinvigorate urban neighborhoods.

Corporation Hall: Kalamazoo, Mich.

Home to America’s first outdoor pedestrian shopping mall, Kalamazoo, Mich.’s downtown has persisted as a vital part of the city, making it the ideal location for a developer seeking to revitalize the neglected 137-year-old Corporation Hall by integrating technology with sustainable and energy-efficient design.

Sweetwater Spectrum: Sonoma, Calif.

Sweetwater Spectrum is a new national model for supportive housing, designed to offer life with purpose and dignity for adults on the autism spectrum.

Bud Clark Commons: Portland, Ore.

A cornerstone of Portland, Ore.’s strategy to end homelessness in 10 years is Bud Clark Commons.

Walgreens Net Zero Store: Evanston, IL

Seventy-six percent of americans live within five miles of a Walgreens store. With such a large footprint, the corporation decided that creating a net zero store was the next logical step to reduce its impact on the environment and to save on energy costs.

Sherman Fairchild Laboratory: Cambridge, MA

Harvard University chose to breathe new life into the existing Sherman Fairchild Biochemistry Building as a case study to develop the laboratory of the future within an existing building.

Henry County Public Schools, KY

Henry County Public Schools sought and found an alternative funding method: a guaranteed energy savings contract (or performance contract) as a funding mechanism for school improvements.

Zero Net Energy Center: San Leandro, CA

What does it take to transform a typical 1980s suburban office building into a modern net zero energy showcase?
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Archive »Topics & Opinions

Finding Common Ground: Defining Zero Energy Buildings

Buildings that produce more energy than they consume have moved from concept to increasingly common reality in recent years. But until a few months ago, no general, industry-wide agreement existed as to what exactly defined such a building.

Learning from Performance

Achieving net zero energy buildings requires knowledge of best real world strategies.

Code Green Standard 189.1 Comes at a Crucial Time

This new standard for green buildings will enable the transition from voluntary guidelines and programs to enforceable criteria that can be used by local, state or federal jurisdictions.

The Proof Is Performance

The road to high performing buildings is paved with high expectations — but, ultimately, it is measured performance that shows how energy efficient a building really is.
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