Indigo Architects was notified that Indigo | Hammond + Playle Architects studio and office is officially Zero Energy Certified by the International Living Future Institute.

This award is the only zero-net-energy certification based on actual, rather than modeled, results, requiring at least 12 months of utility bills and a 12-month production report. Verification is performed by a third-party auditor.

Zero-net energy was achieved even while charging two electric vehicles.

Indigo’s offices are novel in the fact that the building is an “adaptive re-use” building, meaning it was an old inefficient building that was expertly remodeled to achieve zero-net energy certification. This contrasts with most certified buildings, which are new construction.

Indigo Architects transformed a dilapidated 1967 Dairy Queen building into a “green” efficient office space. Using multiple strategies, Indigo was able to fine-tune the building to the Central Valley climate and have it work with the climate to create an energy-saving advantage. This climate-adapted design keeps the building passively cooled 90 percent of the time.

The unique design approach harnesses energy from the outdoor environment. Whether it’s cooling energy or heating energy, the power of nature creates a perfectly climate-controlled interior. Heat gain is minimized by strategic use of north- and south-facing windows, shaded with appropriate solar overhangs and fins to bring in the daylight and keep out the heat.

Natural lighting from skylights and windows allow daytime use without using electric power. Super-insulated walls, using straw-bale wall construction, reduces cooling and heating loads immensely. This new type of design creates an extremely energy-efficient building, ensuring only a limited number of solar panels need to be installed to achieve zero-net energy status.

Crossposted from the Davis Enterprise

Published online April 13, 2018.
Printed March 14, 2018 edition page A9