To design a zero energy building, the project type must first be considered. Schools, offices, districts, and communities all have unique energy goals that require different design solutions. Asking questions like these will help determine critical features of the design and build.

  • How will the building be used?
  • What time of day will it primarily be used?
  • What is the surrounding environment like?
  • Are there design features that need to be incorporated?

Schools, offices, districts, and communities all pose their own challenges in achieving zero energy. Each of the following pages details specific requirements and considerations that go into designing various types of zero energy buildings.

Learn about the eight steps that provide a pathway to achieve zero energy in a school and see other schools that have already accomplished this.


See why zero energy offices are a better solution for companies looking to reduce costs, boost employee and customer satisfaction, and exemplify environmental stewardship.


Discover what it takes to bring zero energy to a district-wide scale and see how other communities are developing innovative energy strategies.