zHome is a contemporary, new, townhome development in Issaquah, Washington.  The homes go on sale this month and have received national attention, such as in the video embedded below with the Wall Street Journal.  Homes in this community will use zero net energy — after considering all energy used and produced during a year — and zHome may just be the first townhome project in the country to achieve such a feat.

In order to achieve zero net energy, the project team first sought ways to reduce total energy demand and ended up cutting annual energy use from about 14,000 kWh per year to about 5,000 kWh per year.  Next, the remaining 5,000 kWh is offset with solar PV mounted on the roof.

zHomes have super-insulated walls (2×6 walls with EPS and a 3″ jacket of EPS), double-paned windows, a ground-source heat pump, heat recovery ventilator, hydronic heating, high-efficiency lighting and appliances, and an energy feedback monitor.

Other than energy efficiency and on-site solar energy, zHomes have a rainwater catchment system that reclaims water for use in toilet flushing and clothes washing.  There’s also high-efficiency toilets, clothes washers, dishwashers, showerheads, and bathroom faucet aerators.

zHome is developed by Matt Howland and Ichijo USA with the sponsorship of the City of Issaquah and the assistance of Built Green, King County, Port Blakely Communities, Puget Sound Energy, and the Washington State University Energy Program.

[+] Read the zHome site blog with videos.

Credits: zHome.