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Greener Than Thou: Z2 Design Facility, San Jose

Greener Than Thou is our report on San Francisco’s obsession with all things green, calling bullshit in the poseurs and lavishing praise on those who have secured their place in environmental paradise. Feeling a little green? Send us the tip love!

Prepare yourself for a mind blowing green-gasm: David Kaneda of the Santa Clara-based firm Integrated Design Associates (IDeAs) and Scott Shell of San Francisco's EHDD Architecture will soon open the so-called "Z Squared" (Z2) design facility in San Jose. This converted bank building will be one of the few in the United States designed with a "Z2" efficiency goal; extraordinarily enough, it will use no electricity, and emit zero carbon emissions. (Imagine what they will save on carbon offsets alone!)

How, pray tell, will Kaneda and Shell reach such a lofty goal? According to the IDeAs website, the building will be insulated as all get out, harvest day light to reduce its reliance on electricity while installing photoelectric panels to cover energy use. Occupancy sensors will turn off lights for those lazy enough to forget, and monitoring equipment will be installed to closely track the building's performance. The use (and use conservation) of high efficiency office equipment and HVAC systems, rounds out the list of Kaneda and Shell's good deeds. We've only described the tip of the iceberg: the Z Squared building has been thought through from the macro down to the micro. This one earns a green star, without a doubt.
· The Zero-Zero Hero [The IEEE Spectrum Online]
· IDeAs [David Kaneda]
· EHDD Architecture [Scott Shell]

Image courtesy EHDD Architecture, via IDeAs