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Mar 2, 2020

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.

-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Most of us enjoy tackling challenges, especially creative people like architects. 

Now combine a creative design challenge along with surpassing a HERS 30 score and other stringent criteria and things get interesting.

And then beat the target score with a Net Zero achievement and have the winning plans freely shared to the public; now that’s joy in achievement!


In 2016 Mark Hartman, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Phoenix created a competition for Arizona architects to encourage the construction of ultra-low energy use homes. This is in support of the ambitious 2050 Sustainability Goals adopted by the Mayor of Phoenix and the Phoenix City Council.


Mark worked in partnership with Caroline Lobo, formerly leader of the American Institute of Architects, Arizona (AIA), to hold a Sustainable Home Design Competition. The goal was for a “near net-zero energy” single-family home with the best potential for wide-spread adoption in the region. 


Marlene Imirzian of Imirzian Architects created the winning design of an affordable, three-bedroom home, that went beyond and achieved a HERS rating of zero.


She calls is HOME nz.


Lend your ears to this interesting story and feel the energy and joy that I sensed recording this podcast live at the RESNET 2020 Home Performance Conference.


Join over 5000 others and download the free plans at this link:


If you would like to learn more, please contact:


Mark Hartman, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Phoenix:


Marlene Imirzian, Imirzian Architects:


Caroline Lobo, American Institute of Architects, Arizona:



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