At Elemental Green, our mission is to accelerate the adoption of green home building and renovation – sustainable homes should be the status quo! And, quite frankly, they need to be. We desperately need to protect our environment. Right now, we believe the drive towards net zero energy buildings is one of the most important efforts in the movement to mitigate climate change. And we’re doing our part to support that effort.

We created our Net Zero Hero Hall of Fame to recognize and celebrate leaders in the field, but also to shine a light on the possibilities, inspire others, and build the movement as a whole.

Launched during World Green Building Week 2017, expect to see many more heroes added in the coming months and years!

Please take some time to get to know the achievements of these experts. Consider giving them a shout out on social media to show them your appreciation and to give them a little boost of support to encourage their continued great work!

Jordan Goldman


jordan goldman net zero hero on elemental green

Jordan Goldman is a specialist in energy modeling, HVAC systems, and manages Zero Energy Design’s mechanical design practice. He is fluent in building envelope strategies and energy efficient construction systems, building science design principles, as well as mechanical system design, specification, and sizing for enhanced energy performance. Additionally, he is experienced in sizing and specifying renewable energy systems, such as photovoltaics and solar hot water. Jordan’s energy expertise has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR) and he has served as a judge for the NAHB Research Center’s Energy Value Housing Awards. He is a Certified Passive House Consultant, LEED Accredited Professional, and HERS Rater.


Click to Tweet: Thanks Jordan Goldman of @ThinkZeroEnergy for being a #NetZeroHero & creating homes that protect people & the planet!

Bronwyn Barry


bronwyn barry net zero hero on elemental green

Bronwyn Barry is registered as a Certified Passive House Designer through the Passive House Institute, Germany and an award-winning designer with a passion for combining style with uncompromising performance. She says she prefers “to play in the high-performance sandbox with the bold and adventurous” and has an international background and unconventional training that have fostered a uniquely creative mind and ability to problem solve. She says her specialty is “achieving results through relationship and team building” and she has “strong connections across a broad spectrum of disciplines, from policy makers and researchers, to contractor and energy modeling communities” – relationships that span the globe.


Ann Edminster

ann edminster net zero hero on elemental green


Ann Edminster is a leading international expert on zero-energy, efficient green homes. Founder and principal of Design AVEnues LLC, Ann consults with builders, developers, homeowners, supply chain clients, design firms, investors, utilities, public agencies, and nonprofits — from local to international organizations.

Edminster’s award-winning 2009 book, Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet, is a comprehensive guide for designers and builders seeking to create zero energy (ZE) homes. She assists design teams in pursuing ZE performance goals, has developed curricula for design and construction of ZE homes, and is a frequent keynote speaker, presenter, and teacher at conferences, universities, nonprofits, and utilities.

Learn more about Edminster’s work on her website.

Ted Clifton

ted clifton net zero hero on elemental green

Ted L. Clifton has been a designer and builder for more than 45 years. Some of his credentials include:

  • NAHB Certified Graduate Builder and Master Certified Green Professional
  • Instructor for NAHB CGB, CGP and Master CPG courses
  • Seven-time National Energy Value Housing Award Winner and EVHA Remodeler of the Year
  • Three-time National Green Building Award winner for Concept & Research
  • Two-time Built Green® Washington winner for Net-Zero-Energy Home of the Year
  • President and founding Board Member of Built Green® Washington
  • Certified homes to the SICBA Built Green® five-star level, MBAKS Built Green® five-star level, and NAHB Emerald level
  • Designer of Seattle’s first true Net-Zero-Energy Home
  • Educated at Berkeley, California, Ted has worked in every phase of construction and knows first-hand what it takes to design and construct a quality home. Having built hundreds of homes as well as commercial and institutional buildings, Ted has the advantage of extensive knowledge of the means and methods used in all three. He has worked in three very different climate zones, from the foothills of California to Ketchikan, Alaska, to Whidbey Island, Washington.

Learn more about Clifton’s work:

Shilpa Sankaran

shilpa sankaran net zero hero on elemental green

Shilpa Sankaran is a social entrepreneur who has provided communications, strategic planning, and technology advisory services for global brands, start-ups, and Fortune Global 1000 companies. In 2008, Shilpa co-founded ZETA Communities, the first U.S. manufacturer of net-zero energy modular buildings. Shilpa served various roles in establishing the company’s operation and developed the ZETA brand as an internationally recognized industry pioneer in the space. ZETA built the first LEED Platinum live/work townhome that won the 2010 Green Builder Magazine Home of the Year award (and is currently net positive performance), 15 other NZE buildings, and dozens of other projects with a minimum EnergyStar standard.

Shilpa co-founded Alpha Group SF, an advisory firm specializing in market transformation for social entrepreneurships in sustainable development, energy, and cleantech. She has also served leadership positions with key organizations to drive adoption of energy efficiency in the building industry. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) appointed Shilpa to the Zero Net Energy Action Plan Champions initiative, leading the “Path to Zero” campaign to drive the awareness and education of the State of California’s plan to meet its 2020 and 2030 net zero energy mandates.

Learn more about Sankaran’s work at the Net Zero Energy Coalition.

Brad Liljequist

brad liljequist net zero hero on elemental green

Brad directs the Zero Energy Program for The International Living Future Institute. In this role, he is an international thought leader in zero energy concepts and systems, and helping reinvent humanity to thrive without fossil fuels.  For the Institute, he speaks, teaches, and consults regularly on zero energy buildings and communities, and plays the lead role in developing the intellectual framework for energy-related programs and systems.  He plays a leading role in developing key new partnerships for the Institute.  In addition to directing the Zero Energy Program, he was the launch director of the Living Community Challenge from 2014 to 2016, now in the hands of Alicia Daniels Uhlig.

Brad has three decades of experience catalyzing change in the fields of planning, environmental policy, urban design, construction management, lean operations, and sustainable building.  Early in his career, he was a key member of the team implementing one of the first urban growth boundaries in the United States, which stands to this day.  In the late 90s and early 00s, he was one of the main practitioners of neotraditional urban design in the Pacific Northwest, designing walkable communities for thousands of residents.  In 2000, he established and managed the first municipal green building program in the Northwest outside of a major city.  More recently, he directed development of the Petal and Net Zero Energy Certified zHome, the first multifamily zero net energy community in the United States, as well as Issaquah Fire Station 72, the world’s most energy-efficient fire station and recipient of the international 2012 ASHRAE Technology award.

He is author of The Power of Zero: Learning From the World’s Leading Net Zero Energy Buildings.  His work has been covered by The New York Times, the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, national NPR, The Seattle Times, GreenBiz, and many other media.

Learn more about Liljequist’s work at The Living Future Institute.

William Maclay

william maclay net zero hero on elemental green

Bill Maclay, the founder and president of Maclay Architects, attended college in the 60’s and like many others at the time was disturbed by social inequity and environmental problems. He pursued architecture as a career in order to make the world a better place. In 1970 he committed to using renewable energy to create a non fossil fuel based future.

In 1971, Bill moved to Vermont to develop, design and build one of the first renewable communities in the US. In the early 70’s he designed and built innovative renewable and energy conserving projects that have been exhibited and published internationally. In the late 70’s and up until 1981, he worked for other firms and then began his practice, both with other partners and as a sole practitioner.

In 1981, Bill began his current practice which has grown in size as well as diversity and complexity of projects. All projects since 1971 have been focused on innovation in environmental design. Project types have expanded from planning and single family residences to multifamily residential, commercial, and institutional projects.

Bill has lectured or taught at many colleges and universities. He has a B.A. from Williams College and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a past President of the VT Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He has served on the Board of Directors of the VT Businesses for Social Responsibility, The Yestermorrow School in Waitsfield, The Mad River Valley Planning District Steering Committee, and the Warren Planning commission. Throughout this time Bill has been a teacher, lecturer, and educator at colleges, universities, and conferences focused on environmental design. Bill and the firm have continuously been involved in research on all aspects of environmental design including sustainable design, indoor air quality, building science, material selection, and related issues.

Learn more about Maclay’s work at Maclay Architects.

Scott Foster
scott foster net zero hero on elemental green
Scott Foster has been the Director of the Sustainable Energy Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) since 2011. With more than 35 years’ experience in energy, Mr. Foster has worked extensively with governments, industry, and international organizations on energy policy, market design and regulation, and climate change strategies. Mr. Foster’s particular focus recently has been assisting energy stakeholder’s address the critical challenges of sustainability, technology choice, and investment mobilization. Before founding Nomad Energy Consulting in 2004, Mr. Foster was VP of Global Regulatory Affairs with AES Corporation, Senior Director for Global Power with Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), and Senior Expert on Electricity for the International Energy Agency. Mr. Foster holds a BA from Dartmouth College, an MS in Civil Engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from UC Berkeley.

Learn more about Foster’s work.

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