The super-efficient structure is considered "net-zero electrical"—meaning the building generates as much energy as it uses—thanks to:
SOLAR PANELS Twenty-eight rooftop units soak up the Louisiana sunshine and turn it into 5.3 kilowatts (or, in human-speak: One panel can power fourteen 13-watt CFL bulbs around the clock!). evergreensolar.com for information
ENERGY CONTROL A "building dashboard" allows residents to see—and thus modify—their resource consumption in real time.
STRESSLESS COOLING The architects incorporated passive systems that cut down on the need for AC by blocking sun. A large roof overhang on the south side shades upper windows from the strongest rays, while lattice wrapping partially shields the porch from the intense afternoon light.