How to Cost Effectively Build Zero Energy Homes

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

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Join EEBA and Earth Advantage for this three-part webinar series on affordable Zero Energy (ZE) home design and construction. Learn how to eliminate common barriers to Zero Energy (ZE) home construction, benefit from the rapid trend towards ZE, and earn a 'Zero Energy Professional' designation.

Zero Energy (ZE) homes are a big part of the future of homebuilding 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. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. This training will will lay out numerous elements of zero energy homebuilding so professionals can formulate a unique package appropriate for their situation:

  • Thurs, July 23 @ 12PM-2PM (PDT) - Intro to ZE, Affordability, Design, Site Orientation, Energy Modeling, Certification Programs, Oregon Case Studies, Local Market & Policy Development. Guest speaker: Earth Advantage
  • Thurs, July 30 @ 12PM-2PM (PDT) - Air Sealing, Insulation, Windows. Guest speaker: Birdsmouth Design Build
  • Thurs, Aug 6 @ 12PM-2PM (PDT) - Mechanical Ventilation, Heating & Cooling, Water Heating, Lights & Appliances, Renewable Energy, Incentive Programs. Guest speaker: Energy Trust of Oregon
  • Optional Extended Q&A @ 2PM-2:30PM (PDT) - Offered on all three days and will be recorded and provided to participants. 

Participants in this training 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. Other topics include: housing market drivers, localized resources, Oregon case studies, incentive programs, ways to assess and communicate economic benefits, and next steps to put principles into practice. This training has been designed for Oregon building industry professionals and will include information on OR-specific case studies and programs, however audiences from outside Oregon will find value in the content and are welcome to attend.  

'Zero Energy Professional' Designation
Participants will have the opportunity to earn EEBA's 'Zero Energy Professional' designation and be listed on EEBA & Earth Advantage 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 training 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. Plan for Renewable Energy

Each step describes the most recent developments with a strong emphasis on affordability.

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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
  • 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
  • Bring current house specifications and evaluate options/advancements along the 12 steps to ZE/ZER

When & Where
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Live Webinar Series
  • Module 1 - Thurs, July 23 @ 12PM-2PM (PDT)
  • Module 2 - Thurs, July 30 @ 12PM-2PM (PDT)
  • Module 3 - Thurs, Aug 6 @ 12PM-2PM (PDT)

CEs & Cost
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Continuing Education
0.6 ICC
6 BPI units

Course Fee
$39 | Entire Webinar Series (Regularly $175)

This training made possible thanks to:


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Architects, Builders/Contractors, Code Officials, Consultants, Developers, Program Representatives, Raters/Verifiers, Subcontractors, Third-Party Verification Program Staff

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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.


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