Course Description

For nearly two decades, ‘net-zero’ has been a rallying cry for architects pursuing sustainable design. In 2006, solar and wind energy represented a negligible part of the grid, but in the past 15+ years renewable but intermittent solar and wind have been the fastest growing sources of energy. As we approach 2030, we ask ourselves: is net-zero the right goal or does our goal require more nuance?

The challenge is that the grid must always strike a balance between energy generation and energy consumption, not just on average over the course of the year. Historically we have maintained this balance by adjusting power plant generation to match the demand; increasingly, we will be turning to buildings to help maintain the balance. This session will offer considerations for building-grid interactions.


Prerequisite Knowledge

Attendees will be project team members familiar with design for commercial buildings, including a basic understanding of building systems and energy efficiency strategies.


Learning Objectives

Describe the changes happening to the electric grid and why they can inform how we design buildings

Realize how the timing of energy use affects its environmental impact

Evaluate which types of strategies can make a building a good “grid citizen”

Compare and contrast metrics that can be used to evaluate building interaction with the grid


GBCI Self-Reporting

This course has also been approved for 1 GBCI CE hour. GBCI course ID: 0920027168


Interested in this educational session for your firm?

We can provide this course in-person or virtually. Reach out to your local Willdan contact to schedule:

CEDA Continuing Education Registration

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Willdan is a registered provider of AIA-approved continuing education under Provider Number 401104281. All registered AIA CES Providers must comply with the AIA Standards for Continuing Education Programs. Any questions or concerns about this provider or this learning program may be sent to AIA CES ( or (800) AIA-3837, Option 3). This learning program is registered with AIA CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product. AIA continuing education credit has been reviewed and approved by AIA CES. Learners must complete the entire learning program to receive continuing education credit. AIA continuing education Learning Units earned upon completion of this course will be reported to AIA CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request. Willdan’s Complaint Resolution Policy is provided at: