Buildings and Beyond – Steven Winter Associates, Inc.

Buildings and Beyond – Steven Winter Associates, Inc.

E6: Zero Energy Buildings – The Equation is Easier Than You Think!

September 11, 2018

Mainstream demand for highly efficient, resilient, and cost-effective buildings is greater than ever before. More people are looking to integrate zero energy design and construction strategies without having to sacrifice modern conveniences and amenities. So, how do we implement solutions that enable us to use less energy… without feeling like we’re using less energy?
To answer this question, we sit down with SWA sustainability experts, Paula Zimin and Karla Butterfield, to discuss what it means to achieve zero energy status and learn how we can accomplish this among various building typologies and sectors. Join us for this exciting and in-depth look at zero energy buildings! 
Episode Guests: Paula Zimin & Karla Butterfield
Zero Energy Information and Resources
Clarification: When Paula discusses the total source energy consumption of a building, she uses the number 38. This refers to 38 KBTUs (or 30,000 BTUs) per square foot, per year. This pertains to source energy, not site energy, and is also known as “primary energy” in Passive House. Although they are considered the same in Passive House, source energy and primary energy have subtle differences according to the EPA.
Correction: Karla mentioned a HERS 45 was a requirement for DOE’s ZERH program. This is not strictly true; the HERS target varies somewhat with climate and home size. A very large home in the Northeast might need to get a HERS index of 40 to comply, whereas a small home might need a HERS index of 52.
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About Buildings and Beyond
Buildings and Beyond is a production of Steven Winter Associates. We provide energy, green building, and accessibility consulting services to improve the built environment. For more information, visit
Robb Aldrich | Kelly Westby
Production Team
Heather Breslin | Alex Mirabile | Dylan Martello
Next up on Buildings and Beyond…
Improving the Efficiency of Your Single-Family Home
Guest: Srikanth Puttagunta