Net Zero Energy Buildings: Definitions, an Overview, and Examples

Friday, October 26


Free and open to all! Please RSVP to

We’re pleased to welcome the Pacific Energy Center to AIA East Bay this month! The California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan calls for zero net energy in all new residential construction by 2020 and all new commercial construction by 2030. Bill Burke, AIA will discuss how zero net energy is defined, and offer examples of buildings that were designed to operate at zero net energy.

About the Presenter: William Burke, AIA is an architect with more than 20 years experience emphasizing environmental issues and energy efficiency. As Program Manager at Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s (PG&E) Pacific Energy Center, Bill manages the Pacific Energy Center’s architectural educational programs and consultations, with a focus on improved building performance through good site design, high performance glazing, daylighting, and other green building strategies.

Immediately prior to joining PG&E, Bill managed the Vital Signs Curriculum Project. Vital Signs, organized through the University of California, Berkeley, assisted educators in introducing energy efficiency and building performance topics into architectural curricula at schools throughout North America. Bill practiced architecture in the San Francisco offices of HOK and MBT Architecture, where he completed numerous health care and laboratory projects.

Bill received his M.Arch. degree from the University of Oregon in 1986 and a B.A. from Grinnell College in 1976. He is a registered architect in the State of California, a member of the American Institute of Architects, and a LEED Accredited Professional.


Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of the program participants will have the ability to:

Define and describe the difference between a net zero energy building and an off-the-grid building.

List the energy goals for net energy use at the building boundary for nonresidential buildings in the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Plan.

Define the difference between site and source energy and provide one example of how choosing net zero site energy rather than net zero source energy as a goal could influence building design decisions.

Define a net zero energy emissions building.

Estimate the minimum reduction in energy use, using the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) database as a baseline, typically found in buildings operating at or near zero net energy.



This entry was posted in CES, Committees & Forums, Lecture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.