Since first checking in with ZETA (Zero Energy Technology and Architecture) Communities back in 2009, the San Francisco-based prefab powerhouse has been busy doing what it does best: producing quality, factory-built modular structures for a variety of residential, commercial, and educational applications including schoolsplant nurseriesstudent housing, and, last not but least, the firm’s bread and butter: net-zero energy multifamily communities.
The firm’s latest — and most certainly largest — project falls neatly under the multifamily community category: Tierra del Sol, a net-zero energy neighborhood of 22 affordable modular homes precision-built in ZETA’s Sacramento factory. Each super-efficient, 1,268-square foot home is designed to save its occupants $2,000 annually on utility bills.
The community itself is located in Stockton, Calif., and was developed by local nonprofit Visionary Home Builders along with San Joaquin County and Department of Energy Building America partner, ConSol Energy. ZETA acted as general contractor on the project. Fifty local green jobs have been generated because of the project’s considerable scale. Additionally, ZETA is giving qualified workers the chance to actually buy the Tierra del Sol homes that they build through an employee down payment assistance, home-ownership program.
In addition to rooftop solar panels, green features of the three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes include stainless steel EnergyStar appliances, water-saving Kohler fixtures, GreenEdge carpeting, nontoxic paints and finishes, and highly efficient space/water heating and cooling systems.
The 22 units also boast superior indoor air quality thanks to top-notch ventilation and circulation systems, proving that, contrary to what was broadcast in this recent, borderline sensationalist article, energy-efficient green homes aren't generally in the habit of making their occupants sick (although poorly ventilated homes most certainly can). And, last but not least, Tierra de Sol isn’t a neighborhood at a carbon-generating remove unlike many “green” cart-centric communities located in the middle of nowhere — the community is super close to schools, shopping, and downtown Stockton.
Read more about Tierra del Sol over at ZETA Communities
Image: ZETA Communities

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

All in the (multi)family: Tierra del Sol
Prefab powerhouse ZETA Communities breaks ground on Tierra del Sol, a net-zero energy neighborhood consisting of 22 affordable, factory-built homes, in Stockton