Chief Architectural Officer, FreeGreen; Co-Founder, Zero Energy Design
Lecturer, Northeastern Department of Architecture
B.Arch, Cornell University
M.Arch, Cornell University
Ben Uyeda co-founded Zero Energy Design (ZED), a multi disciplinary firm that specializes in ecologically conscious housing. As a design principle Ben focused on sustainable housing projects both in the US and abroad. ZED's work has been published in numerous publications including Architectural Record, Popular mechanics, Design New England, and Boston Home. Ben's interest in designing sustainable housing for developing nations has taken him to a multitude of countries including Nigeria, Dominica, and Panama. In 2006 Ben was asked to speak before the prime minister of Dominica about the possibility of using environmentally sensitive building practices to revitalize the local economy. In 2008 Mr. Uyeda founded FreeGreen.com a web based media company that distributes green home designs over the Internet. By 2009 FreeGreen had become the largest supplier of home designs in the world and was recognized By I.D. Magazine in its annual I.D. 40 issue as one of the 40 projects/people that is transforming the world. FreeGreen's innovative business model has been discussed in numerous publications including: The New York Times, Architectural Record, and Fast Company. Ben has taught in the architecture departments of both Cornell University and Northeastern University. During his time as a visiting lecturer at Cornell, Ben developed an original curriculum for teaching architecture students how to critically evaluate sustainable design strategies.
Our theory around our Free House Plans is as follows:
No longer are homes made from simple raw materials. Today's homes are assembled from a complex combination of existing products and service providers. With this transition in home assemblies, product placement has become a natural part of the home design process (especially in green homes). From choosing cabinets that work with your kitchen, to making sure your insulation performs well and contributes to good indoor air quality, it all comes down to the products that we choose. FreeGreen has taken advantage of this progression in construction reality to create a symbiotic environment where the placement of our sponsor or vendor products allows us to create better, more usable house plans for our users, while giving us the ability to offer those same house plans for free. That said, we are not shy in saying that: FreeGreen would not exist without paid placement from product manufacturers, and all product or service provider placements should be considered advertising. In the same way that television has used advertiser revenues to bring us our favorite programs for free, FreeGreen, is using house plan product placement to promote and disseminate green design for free. In order to avoid product bias, we present every product and material in a fair and clear light. Users can see ratings from established third-party green certification programs such as LEED and NAHB for each product (good or bad), or research performance through our energy modeling reports. Our goal is to show you a multitude of material and product possibilities through various lenses, including quality, health, and energy performance.
Zero Energy Design
ZeroEnergy Design (ZED) is an architecture and energy consulting firm specializing in new construction and major renovations. Our commitment to innovative and ecologically sensible design is reflected in our multidisciplinary knowledge base, which spans architecture, mechanical engineering and financial analysis. With this shared expertise, ZED originates designs that are tailored to a client's way of life, environmental ideology, and unique sense of style. We take our name from the industry term zero energy (or zero-net energy), which is defined as a building that creates as much energy as it uses. A zero energy building is the result of a multi-disciplined effort and appropriately symbolizes our integrated design philosophy and approach. While zero energy buildings are an aspirational goal for some, they are feasible for some clients.