ZNE Demonstration- Integration of Dynamic Daylighting and Passive Cooling/Heating for High Return on Investment

ZNE commercial office retrofit using emerging and mature technologies that is widely replicable to other commecial buildings.

View, Inc.



Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

Research project completed in 2017. Electricity consumption was reduced by up to 75% and electricity cost by up to 86%. The PV system produced enough electricity to meet the building's needs for the year, resulting in a surplus of 15,886 kWh of electricity. Technology is now commercially available and is being implemented in commercial buildings across the United States, as well as in parts of Canada.

The Issue

California has set aggressive targets for ZNE construction in the state (100% of all new construction by 2030). Today, however, there are only 21 ZNE commercial buildings in the entire country. Also, the technologies traditionally implemented in ZNE renovations have a relatively low rate-of-return compared to a typical Title-24 renovation. This constraint requires a particular type of building owner to implement, and as such, ZNE construction will be slow unless a low-cost approach becomes available that will make ZNE construction a compelling investment opportunity.

Project Innovation

This project resulted in the design, construction, and demonstration of an affordable approach for renovating commercial buildings. This broadly replicable approach uses an integrated technology package that includes a combination of eight emerging and mature technologies. These technologies include LED lighting, plug-load management, dynamic windows, sky lights, extreme insulation, night flushing, building controls. These technologies were installed in a 33,750 square foot office in Sunnyvale.

Project Benefits

This project documented the design, practices, savings and efficiencies of implementing a whole building retrofit strategy for commercial buildings and publicized the results to the construction, banking, and public policy communities and drove awareness of the economics of such retrofits to building owners. Though it cost $70 per square feet more to bring the project the ZNE, the results showed that the improvements increased the value of the building, increasing rent that could be charged, and reducing annual energy costs to operate the building bringing the net value increase of the asset to over $2 million. This project makes the case for making ZNE retrofits a compelling investment.

Consumer Appeal

Consumer Appeal

This project showed that a ZNE retrofit can increase net value of a building, aided by a premium lease to overcome the incremental costs. Multiple avenues of public outreach and education have created high exposure to the demonst

Lower Costs


For the first year of operation, the actual annual operating expenses was $5.40 per square feet less compared to the average operating expense for the building owner's other portfolio of buildings. This results in annual savings

Economic Development

Economic Development

The $5.40 per square foot increase in operating income equals $83.00 per square feet in increased net value. Additionally, the building achieved a lease premium of $3.60 per square foot annually over a standard Title 24 building

Greater Reliability


The results of the project will be publicized to the construction, banking, and public policy communities, driving awareness, catalyzing replication and accelerating benefits to California ratepayers.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Brandon Tinianov

Sr Director of Technology Business Development



Integral Group, Inc.


Hillhouse Construction Company, Inc.


Sharp Development Company, Inc.


Energy Building Strategies, LLC


Match Partners


View, Inc.


WTA-Mathilda LLC


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