Download: Net-Zero Energy Building Standard (532 KB)

Key Concepts

1. The development of a primary metric called Energy Use Intensity energy use intensity tooltip (EUI) to measure the predicted and actual energy use. This is analogous to miles per gallon for a car.

2. The embedded energy to deliver water  embedded energy to deliver water tooltip to the building must be offset by on-site energy production to achieve net zero status.

3. Net-zero potential is defined by the ability of the building to generate on-site energy with the energy producing area limited to the building roof (and covered parking in commercial buildings). This requires that buildings be energy efficient.

4. The net-zero certification will be issued after one year of performance demonstrates net-zero achievement net-zero achievement tooltip. Meeting the requirements in either the prescriptive path or performance path shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirement of the IECC without regard to the issuance of the net-zero certificate.

Goal of the Net-Zero Energy Building Standard

The goal of the project was to develop a building standard that will provide a prescriptive set of rules for designing a building that generates as much energy as it uses. There is also a performance path in the code using Energy Modeling . The performance path is recommended for maximum benefit.

How to use the Net-Zero Standard

There are 4 steps in designing a Net-Zero Energy Building using the standard

1. Determine your energy budget energy budget tooltip. Your energy budget is based how much energy you can generate from the roof of your building. Just like a financial budget, you can't spend more than you make. The energy budgets are capped based on the energy efficiency requirements of the code. The Energy Budget Calculator will automatically calculate your energy Budget.

2. Determine your basic design based on your energy budget. Some building orientations building orientation tooltip use more energy than others. Some construction types construction types tooltip use more energy than others. The Energy Budget Calculator will guide you through this decision making process.

3. Find out how much money you will save every month using the Nega-watt calculator.

4. SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT to meet with a plans examiner at the City of Tucson or Pima County to learn more about the code and how to design and submit plans that meet the code and start you on your way to positive cash flow and energy independence.

Make an appointment with a plans examiner to discuss your net-zero energy building project.
For projects within the City of Tucson jurisdiction please call:
Clayton Trevillyan at (520) 837-4913.

For projects within the Pima County jurisdiction please call:
Rich Franz-Ünder at (520) 740-6892
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For projects in the jurisdiction of the City of Tucson

Clayton Trevillyan
Chief Building Official

City of Tucson Planning and Development Services

(520) 837-4937

Department Directory
Department Feedback Form

For projects in the jurisdiction of Pima County and information regarding the Net-Zero code in general

Daniel Ice
Green Building Program Manager

Pima County Building Safety and Sustainability

(520) 724-6493

Department Directory
Department Feedback Form