Navigating Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Carbon Building Certifications

Kate is a Project Management & LEED Intern at Verdical Group, assisting our Project Management team with project research, analysis, and certification documentation. She is a student at UCLA pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Science with a concentration in Environmental Systems & Society, as well as a Minor in Geographic Information Systems & Technology (GIS&T). She holds her LEED Green Associate credential and is actively involved with USGBC-LA.

The time to build a net zero future is now. If we’re going to have any hope of curbing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the impacts of the climate crisis, net zero energy and net zero carbon buildings need to be in the picture.

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8 Takeaways from the Net Zero Conference & Expo

The revolving digital signage on the LACC exterior of the conference during the Net Zero Conference. (Photo by Ling Luo)

At our 6th annual Net Zero Conference, hosted on October 2-4, 2019, we welcomed 100 exhibitors, 108 speakers, and 1,200 attendees from 8 countries and 38 states to the Los Angeles Convention Center. Keynotes from Ed Mazria (Founder & CEO, Architecture2030), Amanda Sturgeon (CEO, International Living Future Institute), and Terry Tamminen (Founder & President, Seventh Generation Advisors) provided powerful insights into green building, net zero design, and sustainability policy. Here’s what our team hopes attendees took away from the event:

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Building Codes for a Net Zero Future

2020 will be a monumental year for the state of California — and no, we aren’t referring to the elections!

We’re talking about net zero energy buildings: buildings that produce as much onsite renewable energy as they consume, helping to reduce dependency on the grid and the “dirty” fossil fuels that power it.

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NET ZERO OR NOT ZERO? GROUNDING OUR NEXT MOVES FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

ZNE is a sexy phrase and a thrilling concept, but setting the building sector’s sights on zero as the fix-all goal is raising notable concerns among critical stakeholders. This article outlines the challenges of a ZNE framework and points to some alternative approaches to keep us on track. Read more

Zero Net Energy 2018: View from the Precipice

As the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) implements the California Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategy Plan, a foundational goal is ensuring all new residential buildings be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2020, and all new commercial buildings be ZNE by 2030. Additionally, 50% of existing commercial buildings will need to be retrofitted to ZNE by 2030. Read more

The Perlita Passive House Journey Part III: Green Building Certification

Part III:  Perlita House Green Building Certification

While we’re out here trying to beat the heat, construction on the Perlita Passive House continues on schedule. By now you’re familiar with the Perlita Passive House design process (and if not, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up) and have read that Verdical Group is leading the charge on the Project’s Living Building Challenge (LBC) Energy Petal Certification. But what does that really mean? Read more

SCE Interview on Climate Goals & Building a Sustainable Society at the Net Zero 2017 Conference

With just two weeks until Verdical Group’s Net Zero 2017 Conference, we’re highlighting the participation of Southern California Edison (SCE) in this year’s 4th annual event. The conference will gather 600+ attendees and 45+ exhibitors in Los Angeles on August 24, 2017 at the IBEW-NECA Net Zero Plus facility. Read our interview with SCE below that highlights their focus on climate goals and building a sustainable society as a primary provider of energy in SoCal and as one of the largest utilities in the country.

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The Perlita Passive House Journey Part II: Architectural and Engineering Design Strategies

As you know from Part I of this blog series (or, if you haven’t read it yet, check it out here!), Xavier Gaucher is galvanizing the Los Angeles Green Building community through the use of his own single-family residence, The Perlita Passive House, as a case study to promote Passive House design and inspire others. Read more

SoCal Gas Talks Energy Efficiency & the Future of Natural Gas at Nation’s Largest ZNE Conference

With just two months until Verdical Group’s Net Zero 2017 Conference, we’re highlighting the participation of The Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) in this year’s 4th annual event. The conference will gather 600+ attendees and 45+ exhibitors in Los Angeles on August 24, 2017 at the IBEW-NECA Net Zero Plus facility. Read our interview with SoCalGas below that highlights their work on energy efficiency and the future of natural gas as the primary provider of natural gas in the Southern California region.

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Grocery Stores and Fast Food Restaurants Striving for Net Zero

Photo Credit: Building Design + Construction

The number of verified zero net energy (ZNE) buildings has increased dramatically in recent years. Back in 2012, the New Buildings Institute (NBI) published their first ever list of verified zero net energy buildings, with only 21 making the list. NBI has continued to publish this list annually and in 2016 the number of verified zero net energy buildings had nearly tripled. Even more promising is the increase in the number of emerging projects with a net zero goal in mind – what was once 39 total projects in 2012 is now approaching 300 in 2017. This is no small feat, as achieving net zero status requires a steep learning curve for design teams, higher investment costs up front, and picking apart many of the current energy systems we have used for decades. Despite their complexity, zero net energy buildings are the real deal with regards to the massive increase in energy cost savings and decrease in environmental impact. To be considered “zero net energy,” these high performance buildings must produce enough renewable energy to power themselves over the course of a year. Read more