Together with his partner Michael Winkler, Sean Armstrong of Redwood Energy has led the Zero Net Energy design (all-electric and 100% solar powered) in new construction and rehab design of more than 7000 units of housing in California, primarily affordable but including subdivisions and market-rate condos.
A committed environmental leader since starting environmental clubs in two successive high schools, his career in Zero Net Energy (ZNE) construction began in college in 1995 the oldest ZNE-effort demonstration house in the U.S., at Humboldt State University. As a Co-Director in 1999, the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology allowed Sean to support the installation of a new wind turbine in the backyard, a new ZNE-scale PV array on the roof, a biodiesel refinery in the backyard, a pedal-powered TV/VCR, and many more experimental technologies.
Professionally, Sean began work on ZNE design in 2005 with developers of affordable housing in HSU’s college town, Arcata. The City Council required the developers to build the first 50% ZNE apartment complex in the U.S. (Courtyards of Arcata). When it successfully opened in 2006, the City of Arcata raised the bar and in 2009 required a 100% ZNE offset at the senior housing called Plaza Point, which in 2012 was the first apartment complex to actually achieve ZNE in North America. In 2011 Michael and Sean formed Redwood Energy to support ZNE multifamily affordable housing, and we have grown to support ZNE tiny homes, subdivisions and residential towers.
Our clients include Affirmed Housing, AMCAL, CHISPA, Eden, Pacific Communities, the Corporation for Better Housing, Mutual Housing California, MidPen, MLK Partners, Danco Communities, Palm Communities, Mini Mansion, RCD, Duffie Inc, Community Housing Works, Standard Property, Related Properties, and many more.