Zero Net Energy Best Practices

Studio G energy usage diagram for E+ housing

Studio G energy usage diagram for E+ housing

Every heard of a ZNEB? That’s architecture-speak for a ‘Zero Net Energy Building’ – basically a structure that uses less energy each year than it generates. Sounds like a great idea, right? We think so too! In fact, in 2013, Studio G Architects worked with a development team to design high performance “deep green” housing in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood. The program focused on demonstrating the feasibility of multi-unit residential buildings that contribute surplus clean energy to the power grid.

Recently the NESEA (another archie-acronym that stands for the Northeastern Sustainable Energy Association) posted a helpful list of best practices for ZNEB’s. Here’s a sampling of their advice:

1. Educate and motivate the occupants

2. Focus on all energy uses, not just heating

3. Orient the building well and exclude or admit the sun as needed seasonally

4. Minimize cooling loads 

5. Build a superinsulated, thermal-bridge-free envelope

6. Build it airtight

To read the full article, visit

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