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Sneak Preview of Living in a “Zero-Net Energy” World

Davis housing development claims to the the nation’s biggest

Ana Tintocalis

West Village features sleek lines and cutting-edge energy-efficient design concepts.

The typical American master-planned community sill features cookie-cutter houses, cement driveways and green lawns. But UC Davis is putting a new spin on the concept with the unveiling of West Village, a $300 million student and faculty housing community designed to be “zero-net energy.” Developers say it’s the nation’s largest to employ this kind of green construction.

And although “zero-net” [PDF] may sound complicated, the concept is actually quite simple: All the buildings in West Village will take in as much energy as they put back into the power grid — not on a daily basis but at the end of each year, the total consumption of the entire housing development should “net out” to zero. Continue reading