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The zHome project was an overall success. Its educational campaign reached more than 13,000 people and its unprecedented standards led to the development of the Built Green Emerald Star external link Download PDF certification level. Most importantly, it demonstrated that zero net energy homes are achievable, attractive, and livable.

Certifications & Awards


  • Built Green 5-Star: The highest rating Built Green offered at the beginning of this project
  • Salmon-Safe Certification: First Salmon-Safe certified residential project in Washington
  • International Living Future Institute – Net Zero Energy Building Petal recognition
  • WaterSense New Home Certification
  • Built Green Emerald Star: This certification is higher than the 5-Star rating and was modeled after zHome. zHome was bestowed with this certification level once it was finalized.


  • Built Green Hammer Award (King and Snohomish Counties): For builder Ichijo USA
  • Good Design Award from Japanese Institute of Design Promotion: For builder Ichijo USA
  • Development of the Year Award 2011: Named by Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes
  • Green Globe Award: Along with YWCA Family Village jointly recognized for Community Leadership in Green Building by King County
  • Design & Build Award from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC): For builder Ichijo USA

White Paper

zHome was a pioneering project. It was the first net zero energy townhome complex in the United States. It was built to rigorous environmental benchmarks and aimed to demonstrate that deep green housing could be realistic for the average person.

Several years after the zHome units sold and homeowners moved in, the team returned to the project to assess the outcomes and found that zHome reached the benchmarks that had been set for its development. The assessment included both the quantitative performance measures and qualitative homeowner satisfaction measures. The zHome white paper external link provides in depth insights into how the homes are performing and the lessons learned from the project.

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