Applying for the Zero Net Energy Building Award

This award is no longer offered by NESEA. Please do not apply!

Deadline: December 15

The drop-dead date for getting all Zero Net Energy Building Award materials submitted to NESEA was always December 15th. NESEA no longer offers the Zero Net Energy Building Award, so there is no need to apply by 12/15/2015. Applicants were judged on the criteria laid out in this Zero Net Energy Judging Matrix.

Where to send everything

All forms and supporting materials were submitted via the ZNEBA online application form.

After you submit your application, it will be reviewed by an advisory committee of industry experts. After they review your application, they may ask you to submit a 20″ x 30″ presentation board in either a vertical or horizontal format for the panel of judges and for the poster show at the BuildingEnergy Conference in March. Hard copy of presentation boards must be snail-mailed to:

Attn. Miriam Aylward/ZNEBA
50 Miles Street
Greenfield, MA 01301

How we’ll use your materials

All material submitted to NESEA will remain the property of the applicant and will be used by NESEA and the Zero Net Energy Building Award only for judging, publicity, and educational purposes. By submitting an application, you agree to allow NESEA and the Zero Net Energy Building Award to publish your materials without compensation on this website, in BuildingEnergy (our semi-annual magazine), and in advertising or other promotional or educational materials. If there is a photographer you’d like us to credit in conjunction with any of the images, please provide us with the details when you submit them.

The five things you need to submit

1. The electronic submission form

2. Building images (via the electronic submission form)

Photographs are used to judge the building’s design in terms of aesthetics, marketability, practicality, and usefulness. Digital images are required—the judges are located in multiple states. 

  • You may send up to five interior and five exterior digital images in JPG, TIFF or PNG format.
  • Please send each photo in two forms: high- resolution (300 dpi) and web resolution (72 dpi).
  • If possible, please submit at least one vertical image of the building for potential use on the cover of the fall issue of BuildingEnergy.
  • Please follow the naming convention when naming and giving credit to your photos, found here.

It is required that applicants complete this image release form. Submitted images may be used for promotional purposes, and/or you may be asked to allow NESEA to send a professional photographer to photograph your building for promotional purposes. NESEA reserves the right to use any photographs. If there is a photographer you’d like us to credit in conjunction with any of the images, please provide us with the details when you submit them.

3. Energy performance data forms (Via Electronic Form)

To substantiate net-zero energy use, we require detailed data. Download and complete the Zero Net Energy Performance Data Forms and submit the workbook by email.

4. Supporting data (Via

- New for 2015 Building Awards -

Due to a high volume of responses in recent years, in addition to asking participants this year to submit supporting documentation directly from their utility (statements) to NESEA, we are asking applicants to submit data through WegoWise, a free building energy monitoring system. NESEA has a partnership with WegoWise and will only need your username and permission to access energy usage data.

WegoWise will allow you to upload energy data in bulk via an excel spreadsheet with a custom format. Some utilities even have the option to auto-import your energy data directly from the utility company. Please visit for more information. Contact Miriam Aylward at for help signing up or using WegoWise.

Please provide back-up documentation that reflects your building’s energy usage for at least 12 full months so that the judges can verify your stated energy usage. We encourage you to submit up to 14 months of supporting data if possible, to ensure that we get a full 12.

5. Narrative description

The narrative and additional responses are to be saved as a Word or RTF document.

  • Summary narrative of no more than 500 words describing your building. This narrative should include a description of the building’s location, its key sustainable design features, and any other information that will help our judges assess its comfort and replicability. If you like, explain your intentions in undertaking the project. What motivated you to build or retrofit for net zero? This information may be helpful to us in promoting the Zero Net Energy Building Award and your specific entry.
  • Brief occupancy statement explaining how the building is used
  • The five major energy-related systems. Please list the following:

Building envelope: For each applicable item below, please list insulation material used and thickness/assembly R-value.

  • Subslab
  • Slab edge
  • Foundation wall
  • Above-grade wall
  • Flat attic
  • Cathedral ceiling

Doors/windows: List window U-value and SHGC.

Mechanicals: For each of the subsystems below, please list component make and model number, plus any comments that might be of interest.

  • Space heating
  • Space cooling
  • Hot water
  • Ventilation


Renewable energy

  • Make/model/number of major components (e.g. PV panels, inverter, solar hot water panels, tank, other renewable features)
  • Peak power of the PV array (kW) or other renewable feature
  • Projected annual production of the PV array (kWh) or other renewable features
  • If known, the actual annual production of the PV array (kWh) or other renewable features
Applicants who are approved in the initial round of review by the advisory committee will be asked to submit a 20″ x 30″ poster. Winners will be asked to host a half-day Pro Tour of their home (organized by NESEA) on May 1, 2015. The tour guide can be any member of the project team, including the home owner.

Our Mission

NESEA advances sustainability practices in the built environment by cultivating a cross-disciplinary community where practitioners are encouraged to share, collaborate and learn.