Students in the North Side Net-Zero (NSNZ) design project (ARCH 4150 and ARCH 5550) will work closely with community members to design two Net-Zero prototype homes to be constructed during the summer and autumn of 2012 as part of the Ecovillage initiative in Minneapolis’ Hawthorne neighborhood.

Building on the successes of the U of M’s entry to the 2009 Solar Decathlon and the 2010 Habitat for Humanity Net-Zero design module and seminar, these courses will expose students to the cutting-edge of home design, provide opportunities to engage the larger design and non-profit community, and provide an invaluable learning experience. The students will gain and demonstrate a thorough understanding of building energy and structural issues, and will integrate the performance aspects with the formal and aesthetic requirements of the Hawthorne neighborhood, the City of Minneapolis, and the client families.

A combination of individual and group work in the form of precedent research, public presentations, in-studio charrettes, writing, technical analysis, drawing, and modeling, and will culminate in the collaborative designs for two Net-Zero homes to be built in the Ecovillage by two local non-profit organizations, Habitat for Humanity of the Twin Cities, and Project for Pride in Living.