Project at a Glance

Title: Zero-Carbon Buildings and Communities in California: A Feasibility Study

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Mozingo, Louise

Contractor: UC Berkeley

Contract Number: 16RD004

Research Program Area: Climate Change

Topic Areas: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Sustainable Communities


California is on track to achieving the 2020 greenhouse gas (GHG) target, however much more must be done long-term to ratchet down emissions to a level needed for climate stabilization. The First Update to the Scoping Plan identified future actions and policies that can help California achieve our post-2020 climate goals, including advancing Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings to be Zero Carbon Buildings. A zero or near-zero carbon building is a Zero Net Energy building that would generate nearly no GHG emissions from the energy, water, waste, and transportation use associated with the building. Zero carbon buildings will utilize high performance design solutions, generate renewable energy on-site, and employ other techniques to eliminate or offset these GHG emissions. The main objective of this research is to assess the technical feasibility of zero or near-zero carbon building for both residential and commercial buildings. Additionally, the research study will identify strategies and policies for implementation at the block, neighborhood, or municipal scale to achieve zero net carbon community performance.

The project leverages a low-income zero net energy housing project in Richmond to create a benchmarking and GHG emissions reduction framework for zero net carbon communities.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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