Sean Armstrong

Partner and Project Manager | Redwood Energy

Sean Armstrong has co-designed the largest portfolio of all-electric, 100% solar powered residences in the nation, focusing on the production of low-income solar powered housing and converting the lessons learned from the large affordable housing market to the smaller field of ZNE market rate housing. Sean’s career in “Zero Net Energy” affordable housing began 2005 when, as Project Manager with a large developer, he led the design of the nation’s first 50% solar powered apartment complex, and the first to give solar electricity benefits directly to tenants. Using a novel regulation from the IRS in 2009 that solved the “split incentive,” so Owners of low-income rental housing can recoup their investments in efficiency or solar power; this is why regulated affordable housing is now the largest developer of true ZNE housing (all-electric, 100% solar powered) in the U.S. is rental apartments and houses, not single family residences for the wealthy. In addition to managing the growing staff at Redwood Energy, Sean runs the largest study of monitored end loads (e.g. DHW tanks, Lighting, Plug Loads, Cooking) in the U.S., with 270 ZNE residences under second-by-second monitoring of all uses to inform regulators with exacting detail of how energy is used by appliance, occupancy, age and income. Sean is under contract to help develop California’s 2017 Code and the 2020 ZNE Energy Code, and is writing a new website to document the technical practice of fuel switching retrofits of all building types–trailer homes, apartments, restaurants, hotels, etc.–so all can benefit from lower-cost solar energy. In his spare time has written a local guide to edible landscaping on the Humboldt Bay, imported from New Zealand the founding stock of a rare breed of Kunekune grass-fed pigs, sponsors a household of community activists (transgender activists, organic farmers and environmentalists) and has helped design and lead the development of six Tiny Houses.