Forbes Magazine & San Jose Mercury News feature Zeterre's Palo Alto Net Zero Project - "Green Design -the NEW NORMAL"

The Palo Alto Net Zero House is a renovated 1936 house that is now net zero energy and carbon neutral. The green renovation used advanced high-performance sustainable methods and materials throughout the house while preserving the 1936 architectural style.

Before the renovation, the outdated faucets, toilets, shower heads and appliances wasted water. Outside the house the landscape required gallons of water to stay healthy and green.  The new plumbing system  uses new insulated copper pipes, supplies hot water on demand and is grey-water ready. The new plumbing system is designed to separate the home's grey-water(from kitchen and laundry appliances, bathroom faucets, showers)  from the black water (toilets and kitchen sink)

When the garden is complete, the grey water will run though PVC pipes to a subterranean drip system that drains the grey water into a constructed wetland garden designed by Zeterre. Plants in the garden thrive on the nutrient rich grey water. Within the constructed wetland, physical, chemical and biological processes treat the waste water as it passes though the wetland medium. Aerobic and anaerobic micro-organisms  help decompose organic material. Solids are filtered out as they settle in the water column or are physically filtered out by the wetland medium. Bacteria and viruses filter out of the water beneath ground level.

Black water from the toilets and kitchen sink flows into the city of Palo Alto's waste water sewage system. By separating the two types of water and treating the grey water the home's constructed wetlands, the amount of waste water that is polluted and requiring treatment is greatly reduced.
Sustainable Practices and Ideas to be implemented into the design
1. Rainwater runoff from roof/hardscape shall be collected with subterranean drains at house footprint. This water will be treated and reused for irrigation.
2. All existing on site pavers, concrete, etc shall be recycled.
3. All on site existing shrubs, trees and vines shall be relocated or protected in place as possible. preservation of palms, yucca and wisteria.
4. All plants that cannot be saved shall be shredded and turned into compost which will be used on site as amendment.
5.On site soil shall be amended with recycles materials - no top soil shall be brought in.
6. On site existing decking shall be reused to create boardwalk at rear of secondary residence.
7. Water table shall be regenerated and  and storm runoff will be eliminated through the use of permeable decomposed granite and lawns where possible.
8. Rainwater that drains though lawn will be collected, filtered, treated and reused as irrigation water.
9. Recycled or found glass, tile and brick will be used to create all artistic paving surface.
10. Heavenly Greens - Artificial turf shall be used as a driveway. It is made of recycled materials, eliminates irrigation.
11. All site furnishings (decorative planters, furniture, sculptures) shall be "found" objects or constructed with recycled materials.
12. low water usage plants shall be utilized through the site an grouped according to water needs.
13. All irrigation on this site shall be drip irrigation so as to conserve and minimize water.
14. A central control system will be utilized so as  to control the irrigation timer by way of a paging system from a local weather station. This system will adjust  watering times according to local weather  and thus minimize  irrigation waste and runoff.
15. A wetland garden shall be constructed at the rear of the garden to filter runoff into a storage tank where the water will be then reused as grey water in our subterranean drip system throughout the garden on low water using plants and ornamental alike.
For press information from Forbes Magazine and San Jose Mercury News click here