Press Release: The First Two Projects Certified Under Net Zero Energy Building Certification

For Release [noon PST]
April 3, 2012]
The First Two Projects Certified Under Net Zero Energy Building Certification
Painters Hall in Salem, Ore. and IDeAs Z2 Design Facility in San Jose, Calif., have been awarded third-party certification, just five months after the International Living Future Institute launched the Net Zero Energy Building Certification option
PORTLAND, Ore. —April 3, 2012 — Two projects, both existing building retrofits, have completed the first full set of third-party audits for Net Zero Energy Building Certification from the International Living Future Institute.
Painters Hall, a community building in the Pringle Creek community in Salem, Ore., and IDeAs Z2 Design Facility, an office building for Integrated Design Associates in San Jose, Calif., each earned certification as net zero energy buildings. Painters Hall also achieved ‘Petal Recognition’ under the Living Building Challenge.

Net Zero Energy Building Certification is linked to the Living Building Challenge, widely considered to be the world’s most stringent and progressive green building program. As with the Living Building Challenge, certification is based on actual performance rather than modeled outcomes. Buildings must be operational for at least 12 consecutive months prior to evaluation. To earn Net Zero Energy Building Certification, three of the Living Building Challenge’s 20 Imperatives must be met completely, and elements of two others are included.

“With recent research and news reports putting the net zero energy market at more than $1 trillion by 2035, third-party certification is critical. Until now, it’s been impossible to know if projects claiming to be net zero are performing as expected,” says Jason F. McLennan, the Institute’s CEO. “Our sincere hope is that those who pursue the net zero energy path seek to further transform the industry -- and the world -- by pursuing Living Building Challenge certification as the next logical step in project evolution. The Painters Hall project exemplifies this effort.”

The developers of Pringle Creek Community converted an 80-year-old existing building into an ecologically and socially progressive community center within the 32-acre mixed-use redevelopment in Salem. A 20.2kw rooftop array of solar panels produces enough energy for the building’s needs. The project achieved the Energy, Equity, and Beauty Petals of the Living Building Challenge. The Net Zero Energy Building Certification requirements are encompassed within these petals.

The Ideas Z2 Facility transformed a U.S. Bank building constructed in the 1960s. It is designed to meet 100 percent of its net energy requirements using renewable energy from photovoltaics. The building has a net-metered rooftop photovoltaic system that provides enough electricity for the building’s needs.
Find out more about Net Zero Energy Building Certification and how to get started by visiting Case studies can be found at
About International Living Future Institute:
The Institute is a hub for visionary programs like the Living Building Challenge and Cascadia Green Building Council and Ecotone Publishing. Our work moves across scales, offering global strategies for lasting sustainability, partnering with local communities to create grounded and relevant solutions and reaching out to individuals to unleash their imagination and innovation.