Green Net Zero House Of Ideas Rises Near LA

Robert and Monica Fortunato had a great green idea: to build a net zero house just outside Los Angeles at an affordable price.

Their Green Idea House is actually a major renovation, slated to add an office to the Fortunatos’ home of 15 years. The home was designed to net zero standards as a reflection of the family’s commitment to the environment, as well as in support of California’s Public Utilities Commission new guidelines, which mandate that all new residential construction be net zero by 2020. (All new commercial buildings in California will go net zero by 2030.)

Green Idea House

image via Green Idea House

Towards that end, the Green Idea Home’s design makes use of passive solar heating and cooling, phase-shifting thermal mass, a thermal chimney, and advanced insulation as well as air and crawlspace sealing designed to reduce heating loads and cool the house in summer. Photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbines will generate electricity, and natural day lighting, LED lighting, efficient appliances and cooking technologies will reduce power consumption.

The Daily Breeze reports that the construction budget is around $400,000. Power company Southern California Edison has taken on the project as a case study for net zero building and has invested about $100,000 for engineering and energy modeling costs. The City of Hermosa Beach also helped out by charging the Fortunatos only $1 for the permit to their wind turbine (such permits can run as much as $1,655).

1 Comment

  • Reply July 28, 2011


    This should be a great case study of a renovation of an existing home into a net-zero home. It will be interesting to then apply these lessons to a multifamily building as well.

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