Getting to Zero | Achieving Net Zero Energy Design

1 AIA HSW Learning Unit (GHT-ME-082719)
1 GBCI CE Hour (920020350

With changing state and jurisdictional mandates comes new challenges as our region pushes the needle closer to ZERO. This shifting mindset towards Net Zero, whether waste, energy or carbon, has deep and long-lasting ramifications for all members of the building community as we work towards designing and building facilities which reduce our collective impact on our environment.

This course, led by President, Patrick Kunze introduces Net Zero Energy (NZE) concepts for commercial and institutional buildings. Recent market forces, combined with jurisdictional pressure from DC, Maryland and Virginia, are calling for area buildings to achieve Net Zero Energy use. In this session, our senior staff will define the terms Net Zero Energy, Net Zero Waste and Net Zero Carbon; explain the difference between these three approaches; and address recent legislation and building code changes which will require NZE approaches within the next decade. The session continues with strategies to achieve NZE and concludes with discussion about the future of NZE, including cost premiums and payback analysis.

  • Learning Objective 1: Identify the market forces and jurisdictional code changes that are driving more commercial buildings to pursue Net Zero Energy (NZE) certification
  • Learning Objective 2: Understand how local jurisdictional authorities in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia are changing building code requirements to propel the use of NZE strategies in all buildings for this region
  • Learning Objective 3: Delineate between Net Zero Energy, Net Zero Carbon and Net Zero Waste approaches in commercial buildings
  • Learning Objective 4: Understand how a building’s envelope, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) systems and on-site energy generation strategies can earn NZE certification
  • Learning Objective 5: Understand which types of commercial buildings and clients are currently pursuing NZE certification, as well as costs and premiums associated with designing and constructing NZE buildings

GHT provides Net Zero Energy design services for commercial and multi-family building clients. For more information and to schedule a session in your office, please contact Susan Dawson at