Zero House: Case study of a modular zero carbon, zero toxin, zero waste building

Views: 64
Get Embed Code

In 2017, the Endeavour Centre set out to make a prototype home that would meet several key criteria. First, the building needed to be completely modular, able to be constructed on site in less than a week and also able to be taken apart and reassembled multiple times. Secondly, the building needed to have a zero carbon footprint, contain zero toxins and produce zero waste.


The design for the building, provided by a Ryerson University student/faculty team, is for a stackable row house suitable for urban infill. We built one unit, which can be stacked two-high and up to sixteen across.

This session will take you through the design, construction, assembly and re-assembly of this unique building, and share with you lessons learned and data results from the project.


Continuing Education Units (CEUS) 1 hour in

  • Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI)
  • Building Performance Institute (BPI) NonWholeHouse
  • American Institute of Architects - AIA (HSW) 
  • Certified Green Professional (NARI & CGP)
  • Certified GreenHome Professional (CGHP)
  • AIBD
  • State Architect / Builder License may be applicable


Lessons Learned:

1) Understand building modularity

2) Understand full "carbon use intensity" metric, including up-front embodied emissions and operational emissions

3) Understand zero toxin building materials and verification

4) Understand zero waste building and verification


Session sponsor: Panasonic -



Chris Magwood is obsessed with helping reverse climate change by making carbon-storing buildings that are also healthy, beautiful, efficient and inspiring.


Chris is currently the executive director of The Endeavour Centre, a not-for-profit sustainable building school in Peterborough, Ontario. The school runs a full-time certificate programs – Sustainable Building and Design – and hosts dozens of hands-on workshops annually.

In 2019, he helped to establish Builders for Climate Action, which will be rolling out a set of tools and policy options to help governments, designers and builders reverse climate change with their buildings.


Chris has authored seven books on sustainable building, including Essential Sustainable Home Design (2017). He is co-editor of the Sustainable Building Essentials series from New Society Publishers, and recently, he contributed a chapter to the book The New Carbon Architecture.


In 1998 he co-founded Camel’s Back Construction, and over eight years helped to design and/or build more than 30 homes and commercial buildings, mostly with straw bales and often with renewable energy systems.


Chris has completed an MA at Trent University. His thesis, Opportunities for Carbon Removal and Storage in Building Materials which was published in the fall of 2019.


Chris is an active speaker and workshop instructor in Canada and internationally.


Need CEUS? 

Access the quiz here:


Looking for the rest of the series?

Part 1:

Part 2:

You need to be a member of Building Performance Community to add comments!

Join Building Performance Community

E-mail me when people leave their comments –
George Matthews posted a discussion in Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
All equipment is used but in good condition. I'd be willing to make a deal if someone wanted all or most of the equipment in the same purchase.Retrotec Blower Door: used, DM221 manometer, flow rings, fabric door panel, door frame case. $750Retrotec…
13 hours ago
Leslie Jackson commented on Leslie Jackson's blog post Back-to-School School with Amanda and Chris
"Hi Diane, thanks for reacing my blogpost! These are just simple recorded Zoom meetings. What's cool is you are sent both your sound and the guests' sound separately (and blended). 
Makes editing nice. I also recording my own sound locally in Garageb…"
16 hours ago
Building Performance Community via Twitter
California’s move toward all-electric buildings just gained a ton of momentum #AllElectricBuildings
20 hours ago
Building Performance Community via Twitter
Don't miss this webinar with @pearlcert on Tuesday, July 7 at 3 p.m. ET. The National Energy Investment Fund will s…
21 hours ago
Rick Vassallo and Thor Matteson joined Building Performance Community
Dmitriy Karpenko posted a video
How to make calculation with "Express" mode? In this tutorial, you will understand steps to create your project and get calculation result of building's energy efficiency. The application is free and already available in App Store and Google Play.So…
Dmitriy Karpenko posted a blog post
"Solvergy: Buildings" mobile application designed to quickly analyze using AI the energy efficiency of buildings that consume energy for heating. The main innovation of the application is the ability to calculate the consumption and energy efficienc…
Dmitriy Karpenko posted a status
Solvergy: Buildings - innovative tool for calculating energy efficiency of a building, powered by AI. Visit:
Building Performance Community via Twitter
RT @JoinBPA: Offered completely online this year, you have even longer to take advantage of the educational content and connection opportun…
Building Performance Community via Twitter
RT @NASCSP: The #WAP supports jobs in our communities! #WxJobs #WeatherizationWorks #EEJobs
Building Performance Community via Twitter
Check out Leslie jackson's latest blog on the Building Performance Community: Back-to-School School with Amanda and…
Building Performance Association posted an event

Jul 7, 2020 from 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Zoom Webinar