Seeing Green in Oakland

ZETA builds a net zero home in the East Bay

A super-green home is coming soon to Oakland.

Start-up ZETA Communities is expected to finish construction within the next two weeks on a townhouse the produces as much energy as it consumes. ZETA, which stands for Zero Energy Technology and Architecture, using the structure as a demonstration of the uber-efficient homes known as "net zero" homes.

The concept of net zero homes in not new, but it has been difficult for companies to manufacture units that are inexpensive enough for the average home buyer. To lower construction costs, ZETA prefabricates the building off-site.  

Each unit has a "utility core" at the heart of the building, where all of the mechanical systems are stored. A controller shows real-time energy usage, helping home owners cut energy usage by 20 percent.

The Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will study the home's performance once it is completed.

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