Green Building Advisor's Scott Gibson has the lowdown on Pulter's new zero-energy project, under construction in the Bay Area. The company says that it is using the pilot program to find the most efficient path to net-zero construction, which will be required of all new homes constructed in California in 2020.

The 2,343-square-foot Botanica dwelling boasts a HERS score of 0, an ultra-tight building envelope, a tankless water heater, and a whole-house ventilation system.

In an email response to questions from GBA, Brian Jamison, PulterGroup national procurement director, said that the company has been "testing and implementing innovative energy solutions and sustainable practices" in new [homes] around the country. Some of the homes have been very efficient, but the Botanica house will [be] the first one designed specifically to hit the net-zero mark.

Other big builders also are working their way into the net-zero market. For example, KB Home, ranked at #8 in the country with 2014 sales of $2.4 billion, debuted a net-zero energy home in Los Angeles County in 2014. The 2,537-square-foot home in the city of LAncaster also uses no water for landscaping, making it what KB calls a "double zero house."

Read more details about the home on Green Building Advisor >>