The Power of Zero: Learning from the World's Leading Net Zero Energy Buildings

Brad Liljequist

Forty percent of American energy use today comes from building operations.  We have the technology today to reduce this number to zero – demonstrated by the nineteen remarkable net zero energy buildings contained in The Power of Zero.

Net zero energy buildings use no more energy than they generate over the course of a year. These buildings offer a powerful antidote to the myriad of problems and finite limitations associated with fossil fuel use – climate change, ocean acidification, extraction impacts, defending energy supplies, and more. The Power of Zero showcases the world’s leading net zero energy buildings, demonstrating tangible examples, successful strategies, and actual data for developers, designers and contractors to effectively achieve net zero energy performance.  Projects include commercial, residential, and institutional buildings, both new and remodeled, in an array of different climates.

The Power of Zero is written both for the interested layperson and the engaged technician.  Part I begins with an exploration of the underlying principles of and reasons for achieving net zero energy at the building and the community scale. Part II presents nineteen unique case studies from proven Net Zero Energy Certified projects in a variety of climates with different typologies and sizes. Part III delves into the visionary master planning involved in the creation of net zero energy communities.  Considering this array of powerful examples and innovative concepts, The Power of Zero concludes with a progressive look ahead along the regenerative path to achieving a carbon-free, Net Positive future.

About the Author

Lead author Brad Liljequist is one of the world’s leading experts on net zero energy buildings and communities. Brad conceptualized and led the development of zHome, the first net zero energy multifamily community in the United States, as well as Issaquah Fire Station 72, the world’s most energy efficient fire station and recipient in 2012 of the international ASHRAE Technology award.  Today, he is the Director of the International Living Future Institute’s Net Zero Energy and Living Community Challenge programs, working with the most energy efficient and innovative buildings and communities worldwide. 

Contributors: Jason F. McLennan, Brendan Cook, Jess Chamberlain, Adam Paul Amrein

Introduction by Amanda Sturgeon, CEO of the International Living Future Institute