Real-World Zero Net Energy Homes

A new book based on a report to the California Energy Commission is a treasure trove of information about net zero building for builders and developers.

Interested in building zero net energy (ZNE) homes? This book is for you. Real-World Zero Net Energy Homes for California by Lew Harriman offers principles and practices described that can be applied to all types of market-rate ZNE homes at a variety of price points.  

SML Real-World ZNE Homes for California - coverThe book is based on a case study development, Dream Creek in Stockton, Calif. These houses were built at very modest cost and mostly with unskilled volunteer labor. 

As a result, the designs have been simplified and cost-optimized to the last possible penny, so that ZNE could be reliably achieved at equal or lower costs than past practices. The author—and the many contributing editors to this book—believe that by applying the outlined approaches, profitable market-rate ZNE can be a reality without complexity, waste, and cost. It also gets the country on the path from net zero energy to zero carbon

The book includes chapters on the following topics:

  • ZNE home overview
  • Cultural changes 
  • Architectural design
  • Construction management
  • Building enclosure
  • Structural commentary
  • Mechanical systems
  • Plumbing & hot water
  • Electrical systems
  • Information for owners

The foundation for successful ZNE building includes a willingness to learn and change the patterns and practices of the past, the author notes. This book provides a framework to plan and execute successful NZE building projects without complexity, waste, and headaches. 

You can download a free copy of Real-World Zero Net Energy for California here.