BONE Structure® is the Best Integrator
To Build Net Zero Energy Homes

BONE Structure Homes can reduce heating and cooling loads by up to 90% when compared to a traditional house. In addition, the BONE Structure integrated approach to design will ensure a seamless integration with your chosen energy systems.

What is a Net Zero Energy Home?

A Net Zero Energy (NZE), as defined by the California Energy Commission, is a building for which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable energy sources is equal to the amount of energy used by the building, over the course of one year.

How to Achieve Net Zero Efficiency

A Net Zero Energy (NZE) building needs to achieve a balance between the on-site production of energy and the energy it consumes over the course of one year. A more efficient home will require less energy to be produced, while a home with high energy requirements will need a larger production capacity.

A Net Zero Energy building is not necessarily an off-the-grid home. In order to respond to peak demands and periods of lower energy production (such as reduced sunlight in winter, for solar), a NZE building may purchase energy from, and sell back to the grid as required.

  • STEP 1: Increase Energy Efficiency

    • Efficient building construction
    • Efficient systems and appliances
    • Operations and maintenance
    • Change in personal behaviour
  • STEP 2: Energy Production

    • Address remaining needs with on-site renewable energy generation, such as wind, solar or hydro.

Easily Reach Net Zero Energy Efficiency
With BONE Structure

By significantly reducing the energy requirements of a home, the BONE Structure construction system allows you to reach Net Zero Energy Efficiency with ease.

Extreme insulation for high performance buildings


BONE Structure’s wall insulation is at least R28.5, while roof insulation is R53 or higher.


BONE Structure homes have typically shown airtightness levels below 1.0 ACH50 when tested.

Precise Fit for Doors, Windows and Accessories

Energy Efficient Design

Custom design optimises for location, climate and client’s lifestyle.

Project 15-580

The Best Integrator

From solar roofs to HVAC, BONE Structure easily integrates all systems.

Comparing Energy Needs

  • Insulation to code

    1. Traditional homes are often only insulated to code, which can vary depending on location from R13 to R25 for the walls and R30 to R49 for the roofs. These values are the updated standards for new construction, and were significantly lower only 5 to 10 yeas ago.

  • Low airtightness

    2. Typical airtightness requirements for new construction have been updated in recent years to 6 ACH50 (air exchanges per hour) for warm climates and 3 ACH50 for cold climates. Certain locations are also now requiring air exchange units, but this is not yet a standard.

  • Increased Thermal Bridging

    3. Depending on the type of construction, up to 25% of a traditional framed wall is wood studs as opposed to insulation. Without additional exterior insulation, this may cause significant thermal bridging.

  • Lack of energy-conscious design

    4. While possible, many traditional homes are built without optimizing for location, glare and sunlight throughout the seasons. Both heating and cooling loads must be taken into account when designing for Net Zero Efficiency.

  • High Energy Needs

    5. While a home with high energy needs can still achieve Net Zero Efficiency, it will require significantly more energy to be produced on-site. The available roof space or optimal sunlight placement for solar panels can become a limiting factor, requiring a more complex production system.

  • Highly Insulated Shell

    1. A well insulated thermal envelope reduces energy loads, providing energy efficiency and comfort. BONE Structure’s insulation values of R28.5 or higher for walls and R53 or higher for roofs are well above code and have been tested in controlled environments.

  • Highly Airtight

    2. Airtightness is an often overlooked aspect of home insulation. BONE Structure homes have consistently scored below 0.8 ACH50 (air exchanges per hour) when tested, which is very close to the PassivHaus requirement of 0.6 ACH50.

  • Minimal Thermal Bridging

    3. The BONE Structure construction system has been designed to reduce thermal bridging to a minimum. For a 150 sq. ft. wall, a total of only 1.5 to 3 in2 actually connects to the outside.

  • Integrated Design

    4. BONE Structure’s design team considers each home’s unique location and climate conditions when deciding its shape, orientation, and window placement, creating a space that is both energy-efficient and pleasing to live in.

  • Ultra Low Energy Needs

    5. With energy loads significantly reduced, achieving Net Zero Efficiency will now require a smaller energy production system: fewer solar panels, turbines or battery storage. You can therefore maximize your access to sunlight on smaller or shaded lots.

High-Performance Integrated Design

BONE Structure High Performance Design Brochure

By considering each home’s unique climate and site conditions, BONE Structure’s design team can make informed decisions about a home’s shape, orientation, and window placement, creating a space that is both energy-efficient and pleasing to live in by maximizing thermal and visual comfort.

BONE Structure’s high-performance design services prioritize comfort and energy efficiency throughout the entire design phase of a home, drastically increasing efficiency in the design workflow. Learn how this process improves the design of your home by downloading the High-Performance Integrated Design brochure.

BONE Structure Net Zero Homes

15-580 Featured

Professor Mark Z. Jacobson’s home in Stanford, Palo Alto

Project 15-621

Project 15-621 in Vancouver, British-Columbia

BONE Structure Project 16-720

Project 16-720: Off-the-grid home in Ontario, Canada

Green Building F.A.Q.

Did you know?

  • Standard BONE Structure airtightness values typically test below 1.0 ACH50, nearing the PassivHaus standard of 0.6 ACH50.
  • The BONE Structure construction system relies on composite materials to eliminate thermal bridging throughout the building.

Read more about these details and find much more information on building green in the BONE Structure Green Building FAQ.