Zero Energy Buildings

A zero-energy building, also known as a zero net energy (ZNE) building, net-zero energy building (NZEB), or net zero building, is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site, or in other definitions by renewable energy sources elsewhere. At the USGBC MA we support this level of performance in design and are working hard to prove its cost-effectiveness, health benefit, and operational performance.

We support the Net-Zero movement from two directions, policy and practice. Our policy work supported the net-zero policy frameworks in the City of Cambridge, Lexington, and other leading municipalities. We are a resource to municipalities and often provide coaching on how to move through the process. Learn more about our advocacy work here.

Our practice work is the essence of the work of our community. Our technical sessions on energy and water design, energy production and materials selection all support this net-zero narrative. Join us for our wide variety of programming each month which covers the standard and design specification which support net-zero outcomes. Our immediate goal is to offer the market an up-to-date cost-benefit study of net-zero construction in the Commonwealth to inform developers and policymakers. Look at our news page for updates on this study.

Current Initiatives

Get Involved

The R.W. Kern Center is the 17th certified Living Building in the world, an embodiment of Hampshire’s values in practice and ideas in action… it generates its own electricity, collects and treats its own water, and is built with local, non-toxic, and low-carbon materials.”

Hampshire College