Press Room

The Getting to Zero Press Room helps others understand and communicate about zero energy and zero carbon buildings.

Zero energy (ZE) and zero carbon (ZC) buildings are becoming the new standard for achieving significant energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment.
  • A zero energy building is an ultra-efficient buildings that produces as much renewable energy as it consumes over the course of a year.
  • A zero carbon building is defined as one that is highly energy-efficient and produces onsite, or procures, carbon-free renewable energy in an amount sufficient to offset the annual carbon emissions associated with operations.

The Zero Energy Communications Toolkit

This Toolkit provides more information about the fundamentals of zero energy, including:

Answers to commonly asked questions about zero energy

Messaging for consistent communications around this ultra-efficiency goal

Support for advocates to advance zero energy

“The era of harm reduction, half steps, and lesser evils is behind us. As a society, we need to be bold in ways that were once unimaginable. Luckily in the building sector, we now can imagine where we need to go. In fact, we don’t need to just imagine it. We can touch, experience, learn from, and replicate it.” – Denis Hayes, President, Bullitt Foundation

Photos for Use

These photos of zero energy buildings can be used with the listed attribution. High-resolution photos are available to download.


NREL Research Support Facility | Golden, CO
Architects: RNL
Credit: Dennis Schroeder

Discovery Elementary School | Arlington, VA
Architects: VMDO
Credit: Alan Karchmer

Bishop O’Dowd High School | Oakland, CA
Architects: Siegel & Strain
Credit: David Wakely

“Realizing the potential of the buildings and construction sector needs all hands-on deck – in particular to address rapid growth in inefficient and carbon-intensive building investments.” – Erik Solheim, former Executive Director, UN Environment Programme

Featured Case Studies

Case studies provide insight into how others design, build, and operate zero energy buildings. Read why the team sought zero energy, the technologies used, and how to avoid pitfalls in these examples. More case studies are available on our website.

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Zero Energy

Lombardo Welcome Center

Millersville, PA

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Zero Energy

American Geophysical Union

Washington, D.C.

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“We wanted to set an example in our industry by changing the way commercial office buildings are designed and built with the goal of improving the world we live in.” – Jay Leopold, Regional Manager, DPR San Diego


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