POSTPONED - How to Cost Effectively Build Zero Energy Homes

Eliminate barriers to ZE home construction and earn a 'Zero Energy Builder' designation

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Join EEBA (Energy & Environmental Building Alliance) and Earth Advantage for this 1-day training and learn how to eliminate common barriers to Zero Energy (ZE) home construction, benefit from the rapid trend towards ZE, and earn a 'Zero Energy Builder' designation.

Zero Energy (ZE) homes are a big part of the future of home building business. While the materials and equipment to reach zero energy are available, designers and builders must create a bundle of energy-efficiency features that matches their climate, customers, and business constraints. 

This 7-hour class lays out numerous elements of zero energy design and construction, so that building professionals can formulate a package appropriate for their situation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Participants in this class will learn design principles, equipment options, emerging technologies, material selections, and construction practices that can be integrated into their building process. Strong emphasis is placed on ways to make the final product affordable for homebuyers. Sales and marketing ideas, as well as localized resources, builder spotlights, programs and next steps will also be presented.

'Zero Energy Builder' Designation 

Participants will have the opportunity to earn EEBA's 'Zero Energy Builder' designation and be listed on EEBA & EA registries of accredited professionals. To earn the designation, attendees must pass a designation exam and have completed and passed prerequisite trainings. 

12 Steps to Affordable Zero Energy Design & Construction

It’s generally accepted that improvements to the thermal envelope are fundamental. These include high levels of insulation, reduction of thermal bridges and advanced air sealing. However, significant efficiency improvements in heating and cooling equipment and the rapid drop in the cost of rooftop solar electric systems offer new options for cost-effective efficiency packages. There have never been so many ZE options to choose from. This course gives building professionals the knowledge to build ZE homes that are affordable, durable, safe, healthy, energy efficient, and comfortable to live in.

The material is organized into 12 easy steps:

  1. Start with Smart Design
  2. Orient for Sun Tempering
  3. Optimize with Energy Modeling
  4. Super-seal the Envelope
  5. Super-insulate the Envelope
  6. Select Optimum Window Efficiency
  7. Ensure Clean, Fresh Air
  8. Specify High-performance Heating and Cooling
  9. Heat Water Wisely
  10. Select High-Efficiency Lighting
  11. Choose Efficient Appliances
  12. Use Renewable Energy

Each step describes the most recent developments with a strong emphasis on affordability.  Other topics include: housing market drivers, ways to assess and communicate economic benefits, available incentives, along with marketing and sales concepts for ZE homes.

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Learning Objectives
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Attendees will:
  • Identify factors that are driving the U.S. housing market toward ZE
  • Name barriers to the widespread adoption of ZE homes
  • Describe three ways to present the financial benefits of ZE homes
  • List six affordable ZE features that you can incorporate into your practice
  • Be invited to bring house specs and evaluate possible advancements along the 12 steps to ZE
  • Create a marketing and sales messages that your company can use to promote ZE homes
  • Learn about available Energy Trust EPS incentives through their just released Net Zero and Energy Smart Home offerings

When & Where
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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Portland, OR
Earth Advantage Classroom
623 SW Oak St., Suite 300
Portland, OR 97205

CEs & Cost
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Continuing Education
CCB: 7 CEs
ICC: 0.7 CEs
BPI: 3.5 units

Course Fee
$95 | General Admission (Regularly $175)

Questions? Contact or 503-968-7160 x20.

This training made possible thanks to:



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Architects, Builders/Contractors, Code Officials, Developers, Program Representatives, Raters/Verifiers, Subcontractors

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Bruce Sullivan
Bruce Sullivan: Bruce operates Base Zero LLC to promote greater sustainability in residential construction through training, consulting and contractor services. He has been involved in energy efficient construction since 1983 and has been a primary training developer/instructor for Earth Advantage, Energy Trust of Oregon, BetterBuiltNW and EEBA. Bruce first taught the SHP program in 2008, and has since delivered it over a dozen times across Oregon. In 2006, Bruce built his personal home that earned the NAHB EnergyValue Housing and Green Building Awards. In 2015, Bruce completed construction on a new zero energy home.