Zero Energy Buildings

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. 

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