Google SketchUp  is a free, easy to use 3-D modeling software

SketchUpPlugin can analyze sun and shading on a building and between buildings and objects.

National Renewable Energy Lab’s  (NREL) PVWatts Grid Data Calculator estimates annual energy production and performance data for solar PV based on typical meteorological year weather data.

NREL’s System Advisor Model (SAM) is a performance and financial model designed for renewable energy projects and industry professionals.

AutoCAD WS is a free tool that allows you to open and edit DWG files in a web browser.

Additional Section Examples:
ZETA Communities Zero Energy Prototype (Lancaster Townhome) – DSA Architects

 Climate Works Foundation – Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

Additional Resources: Building Details



  • High Performance Enclosures, John Straube, Building Science Press, 2012.
  • Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods, Edward Allen and Joseph Iano, Wiley, 2008.

Additional Resources: Space Heating, Water Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning + Refrigeration



  • The Green Studio Handbook, Alison Kwok, Walter Grondzik, Routledge, 2011.
  • Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects, Norbert Lechner, Wiley, 2008.