There are many great resources available for ZNE and energy efficient building. Some of them are listed below.

Case Studies

Zero Net Energy Case Study Buildings Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Edward Dean describe the design strategies and monitored energy performance of 11 ZNE buildings in California. Case study #11, in Volume 2, is of the San Francisco Exploratorium, a bayside interactive museum.

The New Buildings Institute has compiled short case studies of ZNE buildings around the country.

Lessons Learned from Case Studies of Six High-Performance Buildings, Paul Torcellini et al, 2006

Net Zero Energy Buildings: Case Studies and Lessons Learned, Linda Reeder, Routledge, 2016



OpenStudio is a cross-platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux) collection of software tools to support whole building energy modeling using EnergyPlus and advanced daylight analysis using Radiance.

eQUEST is a quick building energy simulation tool.

National Renewable Energy Lab’s (NREL) PVWatts Grid Data Calculator estimates annual energy production and performance data for solar PV based on typical meteorological year weather data.

The DOE maintains a library of Prototype Buildings to use as a starting point for energy simulations. These are also built into OpenStudio.

The Snapshot Efficiency Tool is a web-based tool for quickly understanding the potential impact of various efficiency measures. Because it is based on pre-run simulations, the user has no control over geometry.



Advanced Energy Design Guides, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

The Green Studio Handbook, Alison Kwok, Walter Grondzik, Routledge, 2011.

Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects, Norbert Lechner, Wiley, 2008.

Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods, Edward Allen and Joseph Iano, Wiley, 2008.

Net Zero Energy Design: A Guide for Commercial Architecture, Thomas Hootman, Wiley, 2013.

Design Professional's Guide to Zero Net Energy Buildings, Charles Eley, Island Press, 2016.

Sun, Wind, and Light: Architectural Design Strategies, Mark DeKay, Wiley, 2014.

Solar Ready Buildings Planning Guide, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).



The Tale of Two Buildings describes how the energy impact of a building goes beyond annual totals.

Greening Aquarium of the Bay is a research project about the energy and carbon impacts of the marine life support systems of San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay.

The Technical Feasibility of ZNE Buildings in California report describes packages of building features for different building types that are modeled to achieve ZNE performance in California climates.