Net Zero Energy Building Certification

Net Zero Energy Building Certification

Net Zero Energy Building Certification uses the framework of the Living Building Challenge to guide project teams toward projects that divest from fossil fuels. Net Zero Energy projects are among some of the greenest buildings in the world.

A Net Zero Energy Building Certified project must generate one-hundred percent of the project’s energy needs on-site using renewable energy, without the use of on-site combustion.

+ Energy Petal–Imperative 06, Net Positive Energy

+ Beauty Petal–Imperative 19, Beauty & Spirit and Imperative 20, Inspiration & Education

+ Place Petal–Imperative 01, Limits to Growth

Left: David & Lucille Packard Foundation Headquarters Right: Ideas Z2 Design Facility (Image 2 of 2)
Left: David & Lucille Packard Foundation Headquarters Right: Ideas Z2 Design Facility (Image 2 of 2) Left: David & Lucille Packard Foundation Headquarters Right: Ideas Z2 Design Facility

When you register your building, you’ll gain access to a variety of support resources along with the opportunity to connect with industry leaders from around the world.

Registration Fee: $900 (USD)

What’s Included with Registration?
• Access to the Living Building Challenge Community Dialogue, official venue to request feedback on proposed strategies for meeting the strategies for meeting certification requirements.
• Monthly Project Team Calls
• Access to the Living Future Network, a global community of industry leaders.
• Recognition as a Living Building Challenge registered project

2. Documentation

  • Once registered, a project team can begin organizing and submitting documentation.
  • A project team continues the documentation process through the project’s construction phase and its operational phase—twelve consecutive months of operation, during which project performance data is recorded.
  • Once the operational phase is complete, a project team may submit data for audit. Certification fees are submitted prior to audit and are based on project type and size. Project teams pursuing full certification or ‘Living’ status, may opt to undergo a separate preliminary audit to receive a conditional assessment of Imperatives whose requirements are less likely to be impacted by the operational phase.

A project team can elect to receive additional support at any point in the design process.


We’re here to help. We often create customized technical assistance packages to match a project’s needs during the design phases.

• Consulting
• Charrettes
• Technical Consulting with LBC Staff

+ View Technical Assistance Options

3. Audit & Certification

Once you have twelve consecutive months of performance data, you are eligible to submit your project for certification. Living Building Challenge Certification Staff will help you coordinate your audit. Our team will ensure that your documentation is complete before passing them off to an independent third-party auditor for review.

Be a climate action leader: Net zero energy gives people hope that we can resolve the climate crisis.

Save money: 40% of worldwide energy use comes from building operations. It doesn’t have to be this way. Net zero energy is a feasible solution that can eliminate the need for fossil fuels.

Design for the future: Build something that is meant to last. Net zero energy buildings are much more resilient and a hedge against increasing fuel costs and uncertainty.

The following are a list of resources that you will need to guide your team toward certification.

We also offer a variety of technical assistance options that our staff will customize to help you meet your goals.

+ Technical Assistance Options

+ Net Zero Energy Building FAQ


Net Zero Energy projects save money. Renewables are increasingly more accessible, and many cities now offer subsidies or rebates for buildings that are powered by solar. Here are a few areas that we work with:

For a more comprehensive list of renewable energy and energy efficiency rebates by state, please visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency®.

Contact NZE.SUPPORT@LIVING-FUTURE.ORG to register your project.