Case Studies

Each of the four categories of case studies — Commercial, Schools, Multifamily and Single Family — presents some of the best examples of ultra-low and zero energy buildings in North America. In addition to the projects presented here, other collections of case studies offer further useful information on zero energy projects.

Pacific Gas and Electric published two volumes of in-depth case studies. Volume One reviews six commercial buildings designed to zero energy. Volume Two includes an additional five projects, four of which are retrofits. This collection looks into the design strategies, features and systems, as well as the modeling tools used to evaluate these systems. It compares monthly predicted and actual energy performance. Each case study concludes with a discussion of post-occupancy issues. The books are intended primarily for design professionals as well as building owners who may be considering a zero-net-energy goal for a new or renovated building project, but are also suitable for non-professionals who wish to develop an understanding of the eminent practicality of this emerging type of building.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Tour of Zero provides virtual tours of energy efficient homes whose energy consumption could be offset by a renewable energy system. These award-winning homes are independently certified to meet DOE Zero Energy Ready Home guidelines as part of the DOE’s Better Buildings initiative.

The Zero Energy Project also offers a collection of case studies on zero energy single family residences, including new projects and renovations. These case studies are intended to give builders, designers, and homebuyers inspiration, ideas, and strategies for home design and construction.

Team Zero maintains a database of zero energy residential building case studies which contains detailed information about projects, including technologies, design, marketing and costs. It was developed in a partnership with Northeast Sustainable Energy Association.