Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)

Green Building

Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy (VoiceThread Presentation)


Four years ago, I co-authored a white paper with my colleague Nick Worden at Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf (BDMD) Architects and William Brown, currently the Director of Sustainability at Indiana University. The white paper was published at 2010 International High Performance Buildings Conference at Purdue University and it presented a full-year of energy consumption and on-site renewable energy production data for the Chrisney Library (a branch of the Lincoln Heritage Public Library), verifying the project as the first non-residential net-zero (site) energy facility in Indiana (we intend to publish more recent performance data this summer).

On the heels of this verified accomplishment, we began an internal dialog at BDMD that resulted in a honed design philosophy that focuses on metrics and the value proposition of a wide range of energy efficient strategies and technologies.

En route to this synthesis of ideas, we developed an earlier version of the presentation offered below. In fact, over the next couple of years, we would develop a few versions of this presentation, which we now entitle Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy.

A version of this presentation has been given at several venues, including the following conferences:

  • 2011 Spring Conference & Trade Show for Indiana Association of Homes & Services for the Aging (IAHSA), Indiana Assisted Living Association (INALA), Indiana Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (IHPCO) and Hoosier Owners and Providers for the Elderly (HOPE)
  • 2011 Midwest Healthcare Engineering Conference & Trade Show
  • 2012 Indiana Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) State Conference


On behalf of BDMD Architects, we are happy to finally offer the presentation in an online publicly available format.


Data demonstrating that from April 2009 through March 2010, the Chrisney Library produced 1,826 more kilowatt-hours than it consumed.Image courtesy of Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects



Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy will introduce you to the basic principles of net-zero energy design. Specifically, the presentation will detail how proper design decisions based on climate and available resources can yield considerable energy savings and serve as a sound investment for both new and existing facilities.

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives for this presentation are as follows:

  • Explore the four basic concepts and types of Net Zero energy
  • Determine the best Net Zero concept / approach as it relates to a facility
  • See examples or real applications that can make a difference in reducing the consumption of energy

VoiceThread Presentation

The presentation is publicly available via VoiceThread at:



A complete collection of presentation slides. including a few that did not make into the final VoiceThread edit, can be accessed via the link below:

Efficiency: Toward Net-Zero Energy – Full-Presentation Slides (PDF, 29.9 MB)

via Google Docs


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