Net Zero Energy

John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building, Fall River, Mass.

In need of a new facility to educate future chemists, doctors and dentists, Bristol Community College tasked the design team with creating a cutting-edge teaching laboratory. However, while the project was paused due to funding questions, the design team seized the opportunity to reassess their initial approach.

Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center, Basalt, Colo.

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is a nonprofit dedicated to transforming global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. Therefore, when RMI needed a new office and convening center for 50 employees in the mountain community of Basalt, Colo., they seized the opportunity to practice what they preached with a state-of-the-art building that achieved an unprecedented level of integration, automation, and performance.

Aviation Support Battalion Hangar, Ft. Carson, Colo.

What started out as a path to Silver, turned out to be an opportunity for Platinum certification for a new Aviation Support Battalion Hangar at Fort Carson in Colorado. As the design process moved forward, it was evident that Silver could be easily obtained, and additional credits were within reach for a Gold certified facility.

Community Connection

A new public building provides a unique opportunity to reach out into the community. Cincinnati worked with residents to design its Police HQ.

Brock Environmental Center: Virginia Beach, Va.

For buildings to withstand sea-level rise, coastline erosion, and hurricanes, they need to be built to work with nature, not against it. The Brock Environmental Center is a living example of how to minimize impact on the environment while being resilient to future challenges. The triple net zero building is the latest to receive Living Building Challenge certification and is the first in the U.S. to receive a permit for drinking rainwater treated to federal standards.

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.

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.

IDeAs Z2 Design Facility: San Jose, CA

The San Jose, Calif., office of Integrated Design Associates (IDeAs) achieves net zero energy by keeping building loads to a minimum and using building-integrated photovoltaic panels to produce electricity.

Lincoln Heritage Public Library Chrisney Branch: Chrisney, IN

The small town of Chrisney, Ind., turned to net zero to overcome financial hurdles and realize the residents’ dream of building a library. The town lost its high school in the 1970s and then its highway due to an expansion and rerouting, and hoped a library would stem the tide of decline. For five years, the small, simple library has served as a source of pride for this shrinking town, providing a resource for information and a community gathering place while producing more electricity than it consumes.

31 Tannery Project: Branchburg, NJ

What appears as an ordinary prefabricated building produces from renewable energy all the electricity needed to run an approximately 42,000 ft2 commercial ...