About Zero Energy Buildings
Zero energy buildings are designed to be as energy-efficient as possible and then produce the rest of their energy with onsite renewable energy (typically solar PV) on average over the course of a year. They sometimes incorporate storage as well. Zero energy buildings are found in both the residential and commercial sector, and can be either new construction or retrofit. These energy-efficient and innovative buildings provide occupants more durable, resilient and less costly structures that are more comfortable and healthier to live work and play in than a standard minimum-code building.
Zero Energy Buildings in the Southwest
More than 60 percent of the most energy-efficient homes built today in the country have been constructed in the Southwest. What’s more, nearly two-thirds of the homebuilders, architects, and subcontractors who make these highly efficient houses also are based in this region.
SWEEP’s Role in Zero Energy Buildings
SWEEP encourages the proliferation of zero energy buildings through workshops and trainings for builders, community leaders, raters and industry professionals. We have also developed a List of Zero Energy Buildings in the Southwest Region, including Zero Energy Districts (ZED), High Performance (HP), LEED, and Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) buildings. SWEEP also works with utilities to offer programs and incentives for zero energy homes and buildings, encourages state and local governments to offer reduced permit fees and/or accelerated permitting for these buildings, works on zero-energy voluntary “stretch codes,” and works with local jurisdictions that adopt zero-energy codes or goals.
- Get in touch with SWEEP for more information on zero-energy costs, techniques, policies, or examples.
- DOE Tour of Zero: A virtual tour with photos and details on homes that are independently certified to meet DOE Zero Energy Ready Home guidelines.
- DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes Guidelines: Based on ENERGY STAR, building science, and newer energy codes with checklists, details, and certification info.
- Common Definition of Zero Energy Buildings: Widely agreed-upon definitions of zero energy buildings, zero energy campus, zero energy portfolio, and zero-energy community.
- Types of Zero Energy Buildings: A few simple definitions.
- Features and Performance of Zero Energy Homes: A 2-page primer on the energy efficiency measures, renewable technologies, and building techniques that make a zero energy home possible.