Net Zero Energy Homes That Work

Net Zero Energy Homes That Work OAKLAND, CA - Here's something you don't see ever day: a video (scroll to the bottom of the page) depicting the on-site creation of twin prefab modular townhouses. It's pretty neat, like witnessing the construction of a giant Lego house. The structures, the Lancaster Net Zero Energy Live Townhomes in Oakland, California, are 1,540 square-foot demonstration homes from San Francisco-based ZETA (Zero Energy Technology and Architecture) Communities that were completed last month. Each townhouse has a two-bedroom layout with ground floor work studios, single car garages, and a host of features that, according to ZETA, demonstrate "an affordable solution to achieving net zero energy and LEED Platinum multifamily housing through advanced building energy systems and energy efficient technologies."

Just a few of the many green features in the two townhouses:
Passive Solar Design
Recycled cellulose insulation
ENERGY STAR appliances
FSC-certified lumber
100 percent photovoltaic power
Low-flow plumbing fixtures
Drought resistant landscaping
LED and CFL lighting throughout
Thermal storage conditioned basement
Wastewater heat recover system
Whole-house integrated fresh air system

In addition to LEED Platinum certification, the project has received a 240 GreenPoint rating, EPA Indoor airPLUS certification, ENERGY STAR certification, and has qualified for the Department of Energy's Builders Challenge program. All of this in addition to the fact that a majority of the construction was completed off-site in an efficient, low-waste manner. Not too shabby.

As mentioned, the homes are now in "demo" mode, meaning they'll be used for tours and educational purposes while serving as testing grounds for the DOE, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Pacific Gas & Electric to validate ZETA's metrics.

All and all, a straightforward yet remarkable achievement and a huge push for the multifamily green prefab micro-trend that I last mentioned in a post about Clayton's latest project in Tennessee. Keep an eye out for one of ZETA Communities' next projects, SmartSpace Student Efficiency Housing in Berkeley. View Video: www.multifamilybiz.com/video.aspx?id=84
Source: MNN.com / Zeta Communities

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