Does the term “affordable net-zero energy home” seem like an oxymoron to you? Don’t be afraid to be green! One of the drawbacks to green design is that it can be more costly than traditional design and build methods. Fortunately, we know that the payback time for green initiatives is getting shorter and shorter as technology improves and costs come down.

The following are examples of green design, net-zero homes that won’t break the bank.

Energy efficiency in Utah. One of the most notable articles is this one posted on, advertising affordable net-zero homes in Utah. The climate in Utah can range from exceptionally hot in the summer to below freezing in the winter, making this offer even more appealing. Garbett Homes has integrated some shifts in building practices, including increased spacing between framing studs, which cuts down on wood costs, while increasing space for insulation, which reduces long-term heating and cooling costs.


zHome. Source:

Large-scale production. Mashable points out that net-zero homes used to be the sole products of custom home builders. However, these days, large-scale construction giants like KB Homes and New Town Builders are producing subdivisions of green homes that cost just a fraction more than traditional options, with the benefit of long-term energy savings.

New Town Builders Zero Energy home in Stapelton, CO

New Town Builders Zero Energy home in Stapelton, CO. Source: New Town Builders Facebook Page


Multi-housing options. Multi-housing construction is inherently more sustainable than single family units in terms of reduced material needs, shared insulation, etc. zHome  capitalized on these factors, designing multi-unit townhomes that implement additional eco-friendly features for a net-zero effect.

UC David West Village

UC David West Village. Source:

Contact Leslie Saul & Associates Architecture and Interiors to use green design principles in your next project.