Welcome to the Gateway to Zero

There is a path to zero for everyone, but with so many programs, guidelines, standards available, finding the one that’s right for you can be overwhelming. That's why we created the Gateway to Zero.

And while we recognize that “getting to zero” does not always follow a linear process, we have organized the resources in categories from “base energy code” to “zero embodied carbon,” referencing widely accepted U.S. criteria. For our non-U.S. partner resources, please refer to those countries' specific energy codes and standards for further detail.

Graph of key factors for Code Minimum
Meeting the IECC residential model energy code. IECC & ASHRAE Standard 90.1 are both required for residential structures above 3 stories.
Graph of key factors for High Performance
Energy efficiency 15% above 2012 IECC. US EPA ENERGY STAR Certified Homes ‘National Rater Field Checklist’ and 'National Water Management System Builder Requirements’. RESNET Standard 310, HVAC system installation Grade 1. US EPA Indoor airPLUS program.
Graph of key factors for Zero Energy Ready
Energy efficiency 25% above 2012 IECC. US DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program mandatory requirements for ‘Duct System’. US DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program ‘PV-Ready Checklist’.
Graph of key factors for Zero Net Energy
Achieves a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index score of 10 or less.
Graph of key factors for Zero Net Carbon
Buildings must be all-electric with no fossil fuel-fired equipment or components, so all energy consumption has the potential to be offset with renewable energy.
Graph of key factors for Net Positive Carbon
Beyond carbon neutral to create an environmental benefit and intentionally remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, turning it into useful forms. (Architecture 2030)
Graph of key factors for Zero Embodied Carbon
Meet the embodied carbon requirements of the International Living Future Institute’s ‘Zero Carbon’ certification. (100% of operational and embodied energy associated with the project must be offset by renewable energy, including the carbon emissions resulting from construction and materials.)

ZERO

Graph of key factors for Code Minimum
Meeting the IECC residential model energy code. IECC & ASHRAE Standard 90.1 are both required for residential structures above 3 stories.
Graph of key factors for High Performance
Energy efficiency 15% above 2012 IECC. US EPA ENERGY STAR Certified Homes ‘National Rater Field Checklist’ and 'National Water Management System Builder Requirements’. RESNET Standard 310, HVAC system installation Grade 1. US EPA Indoor airPLUS program.
Graph of key factors for Zero Energy Ready
Energy efficiency 25% above 2012 IECC. US DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program mandatory requirements for ‘Duct System’. US DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program ‘PV-Ready Checklist’.
Graph of key factors for Zero Net Energy
Achieves a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index score of 10 or less.
Graph of key factors for Zero Net Carbon
Buildings must be all-electric with no fossil fuel-fired equipment or components, so all energy consumption has the potential to be offset with renewable energy.
Graph of key factors for Net Positive Carbon
Beyond carbon neutral to create an environmental benefit and intentionally remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, turning it into useful forms. (Architecture 2030)
Graph of key factors for Zero Embodied Carbon
Meet the embodied carbon requirements of the International Living Future Institute’s ‘Zero Carbon’ certification. (100% of operational and embodied energy associated with the project must be offset by renewable energy, including the carbon emissions resulting from construction and materials.)

ZERO

Key Factors

Demystifying Zero

  • High-Performance

    • Building Science
    • Indoor Air Quality
    • Grid-Integration
    • Resiliance
  • Renewable Energy

    • On-Site
    • Micro-Grid
    • Utility
    • Offsets
  • Building Science

    • Bulk Water Control
    • Air Flow Control
    • Moisture Vapor Control
    • Thermal Control
  • Grid-Integration

    • Smart Meters
    • Smart Technologies
    • Smart Controls/Man.
    • Storage
    • EV Charging
  • Annual Energy Consumption

    • Electricity with Fossil Fuel
    • Electricity Only
  • Embodied Energy

    • Extraction
    • Production
    • Transportation
    • End-of-Life
  • Indoor Air Quality

    • Source Control
    • Dilution
    • Filtration
  • Resilience

    • Weather Resistant
    • Natural Event Resistant
    • Pest Resistant
    • Post-Event Occupancy