Green Architect

New Case: Modern Oceanfront 'Forever Home'

ZeroEnergy Design is pleased to release a case study in exceptional green modern architecture and mechanical design: the Dartmouth Oceanfront Residence in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Nestling within a coastal New England setting, this modern home takes advantage of the site’s natural topography and stunning ocean views - providing the homeowners with the perfect home to entertain in style, showcase their love for art, and enjoy comfortable low-carbon living.

A super-tight building envelope, carefully-designed HVAC systems, and concealed exterior shades lower energy consumption and ensure year round thermal comfort, while a photovoltaic system on the roof generates almost enough energy to offset the home’s energy consumption. Covered outdoor spaces, charging ports for electric cars, and accessibility features add to this ‘forever home’ that will allow the owners to comfortably age in place.

The project won a PRISM Gold Award for Best Single Family Home at the 2018 Annual PRISM Awards Gala.


Awarded Best of Houzz 2019 for Design

ZeroEnergy Design has been awarded Best of Houzz 2019 for Design by Houzz, the leading online platform for home remodeling and design. The annual Best of Houzz Awards recognize home remodeling and design professionals with the highest ratings and the most popular home designs from around the world.

"Best of Houzz is a true badge of honor as it is awarded by our community of homeowners, those who are hiring design, remodeling and other home improvement professionals for their projects,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “We are excited to celebrate the 2019 winners chosen by our community as their favorites for home design and customer experience, and to highlight those winners on the Houzz website and app."

The Best of Houzz Awards are considered an indication of quality within the home industry and are given in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. The Design awards honor professionals whose work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. 

For ZeroEnergy Design, the Best of Houzz Award for Design is a thrilling acknowledgment of the growing popularity of high-performance homes that blend energy efficiency with modern aesthetics. This is the seventh consecutive year that ZED has been awarded a Best of Houzz Award. We are honored to be recognized by the Houzz community and our clients.



ZeroEnergy Design’s Farmhouse Wins a BSA Sustainable Design Award

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ZeroEnergy Design’s Lincoln Net Positive Farmhouse project was the recipient of a Sustainable Design Award from the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) presented at the 8th annual BSA Design Awards Gala on January 17, 2019. The BSA Design Awards Gala is the design community’s highest celebration of great design and is attended by architects, designers, developers, builders, and industry professionals.

The BSA jury stated that the “Lincoln Net Positive Farmhouse is an excellent example of what a new single family dwelling could – and should – look like, addressing food production and resiliency while delivering great metrics.

Designed to produce 67% more energy annually than it uses, the Lincoln Farmhouse in Lincoln, Massachusetts, demonstrates ZeroEnergy Design’s continued commitment to healthy and energy-efficient design practices. The 2,900 sq ft green home was built as a collaboration between ZED and custom homebuilder, Thoughtforms, and is designed to suit the client’s lifestyle with open concept living and family areas, an optional first floor guest suite, a separate craft area, and a root cellar for storing food.

The home consumes far less energy than a code-built house and has a 13.1 kW array of solar panels that produces more energy than needed to offset consumption annually, making it ‘net positive’. A super-insulated building envelope, high performance windows, an air source heat pump, an energy recovery ventilator, high-efficiency water fixtures, and ENERGY STAR appliances are some of the home’s other notable features.

The project is USGBC LEED Platinum certified and has received Zero Energy Certification and a REVEAL label from the International Living Future Institute. It previously won the 2017 Fine Homebuilding HOUSES Award for Best Energy-Smart Home and was also featured in HOUZZ magazine.


ZeroEnergy Design continues to lead AIA 2030 climate initiative

ZeroEnergy Design is one of only ten architectural firm nationwide that achieved a predicted energy use intensity (pEUI) savings of 70% across their entire design portfolio, according to the recently released summary of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Commitment. Of the 480 firms participating in the initiative, 212 reported and only ten of those achieved the 70% goal. ZeroEnergy Design exceed the goal with an 88.7% total design portfolio reduction.

The goal of the 2030 Challenge, which began in 2010, is for all new buildings and major renovations to be carbon neutral by 2030.  One of the main targets for architecture firms is an energy consumption performance standard of 70% below average for all major renovations, developments and buildings. The other goals are reducing the fossil fuel standard by 80% in 2020, 90% in 225 and eliminating fossil fuel GHG emitting energy for all new buildings and major renovations by 2030.

Architectural firms continued efforts to reach their environmental goals. According to the report, 17.8 million metric tons of carbon savings were reported in 2017, a 6.7% increase from 2016. The carbon savings are equivalent to the entire state of Maine. In dollars and cents, this is a savings of $3.2 billion in annual operating costs.

Other notable statistics from the 2017 report:

  • The report examined 16,856 total projects, an increase of 21% from 2016. The projects came from 90 different countries.

  • Progress continues. Zero Energy and nine other firms exceeded the 70% of the pEUI savings goal and the majority of the firms are between 40% and 60%.

  • The statistics show the 2030 Commitment goals can be reached in any region or climate.

Designing and building homes that use 50% less energy than the building code requires is an absolute minimum standard at ZeroEnergy Design. We believe the 2030 commitment goals are attainable now/today and we are doing our part to make sure they are met.