Case Study

Market-Rate Net-Zero-Carbon Design Emerges from Exercise

Designers at HOK and daylighting and energy consultants at the Weidt Group recently came together to see if they could design a market rate, net-zero-carbon-emissions office building. Their design exercise resulted in “Net Zero Co2urt,” a four-story, 170,000 ft2 (16,000 m2) office building for a downtown St. Louis site, and with an estimated payback period of 12 years for features going beyond a building meeting LEED Certified standards.

The Missouri climate of fairly harsh winters and hot summers was a challenge, as are regional costs for conventional electricity—among the lowest in the country at about $0.07/KWh. According to HOK, the modeled building uses 21.9 KBtus/ft2, producing 76% less carbon emissions than a conventional office building, and with only minor additional first costs—total construction costs as modeled would be $223/ft2. The building’s energy needs are met with a 52,000 ft2 photovoltaic array and 15,000 ft2 of solar thermal panels.

Published December 30, 2010

Wendt, A. (2010, December 30). Market-Rate Net-Zero-Carbon Design Emerges from Exercise. Retrieved from