News Brief

Five Projects Receive Net-Zero-Energy Certification

New projects certified through International Living Future Institute suggest growing interest in verification of low-energy claims.

Photovoltaic systems are mounted on the roof of the American Samoa EPA office.

Photo: © AS-EPA
Five projects have achieved Net Zero Energy Building Certification recently through the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). ILFI offers the certification as a pared-down, more energy-focused version of its broader and extremely rigorous Living Building Challenge­­. The structures—two residences, a government office, and a pair of educational facilities—were certified in May 2014 after 12 months of post-occupancy performance data proved that each building’s annual energy use was equal to or less than its energy production.

One residence, the Zero Energy House in Auckland, New Zealand, began as a personal project by owners Jo Woods and Shay Brazier in 2010. Energy efficiency was achieved through passive design, insulating above code, and using only energy-efficient lighting and appliances, among other measures.

Despite its name, achieving Net Zero Energy Building Certification goes beyond an energy focus. In addition to generating all its own energy on an annual basis, any structure considered for certification must meet requirements related to place, health, equity, and beauty. Buildings achieving certification can’t do so at the expense of neighboring buildings; they must be attractive, inspiring, and promote the use of renewable energy. (See Net-Zero Certification Spins Off from Living Building Challenge for the full criteria.)

The American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency office (AS-EPA), another recently certified project, includes a 56 kW photovoltaic system mounted on top of its roof and carport. In 12 months, AS-EPA generated 69,477 kWh, while only using 67,672 kWh, according to ILFI.

Other projects to receive Net Zero Building Certification include the Center for Sustainable Landscapes at Phipps Conservancy & Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, the Zero Cottage in San Francisco, and the Hood River Middle School Music and Science Building in Hood River, Oregon.


For more information:

Living Building Challenge

Published June 18, 2014

Nick, D. (2014, June 18). Five Projects Receive Net-Zero-Energy Certification . Retrieved from

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