SoCo Rebuild

Building Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Communities.  Resources.

Harvest Village aerial view. [Napa, CA}
Health Buildings Inc. (Thriving Communities). Napa, CA

I spoke with Lisa Batto, Managing Principal, at Healthy Buildings Inc (HB) in Napa on Friday 11/3/17. They are building affordable ZNE multi-family and single family homes now!  See current project Harvest Village in Napa.  I’d seen the founder, Bob Masaro, present at Sustainable Enterprise Conference in April 2017 and was impressed.  They are able to achieve all-electric design, with PV rooftops.

Walls of Steel, pre-built in shop, equals quicker construction

They accelerate the building process by assembling walls in their shop, then can quickly put up the shell onsite.  Building walls in a workshop (vs. onsite) can employ more folks with minimal carpentry skills.  While their shop is in Napa, an option exists to set up a temporary local wall building shop in Sonoma County.   HB uses steel framing for a variety of reasons, and also advocates for fire resistant materials such as hardiboard siding and metal roofs.  We (Allens) used a similar panelized wall construction method for building our home, using a company in Elk Grove to prefab the walls offsite.  This is also an option and a way to enlist labor from nearby counties.   HB is open to playing any role in helping get ZNE built in Sonoma County.  One scenario is that they design several models of ZNE and build the shell. Then others do the finish work.   More to learn here but the takeaway is that they are doing it now, affordably.

Review Healthy Building Portfolio. pdf.


ZNE neighboorhoods.  PG&E is currently doing a pilot study in the bay area on solar + storage, and how to manage this new grid.

Video- Grid of the future.

PG&E ZNE research page.

need to connect with PG&E to learn more about ability to rebuild Soco with lessons learned from these pilot studies.


Funding for electrical appliances and heating/cooling can come from either Sonoma Clean Power, PG&E, or other. We need to research and quantify what this cost is first to determine if additional funds are needed that insurance is not covering.

The same for Solar + storage, or any incentives for EV and V2G (vehicle to grid) interface.  (Nissan is currently using Leaf EV to power homes in Japan).



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