Net Zero Energy Architects is a business that thrives on the challenge of creating a sustainable built environment. We do this by leveraging our unique range of abilities which allows us to integrate design, construction, and product development. 

Weaving these three essential threads into a vital and deeply satisfying finished project is what drives us. Achieving net zero energy efficiency is an important goal for every project. But that is not our only goal. We seek solutions that optimize performance, efficiency, and quality and pride ourselves on being passionate listeners. We recognize that it is essential to collaborate with our clients and our partners to uncover the best solution.

With a background that ranges from high end residential architecture to cancer research laboratories we pride ourselves on our breadth of experience. Classically trained modernists leveraging advanced technology to design, fabricate and produce whatever we need to meet your challenge. If a product does not exist to satisfy our performance criteria we will develop our own solution. If the tool doesn't exist we will invent it.

Our experience with design build, integrated project delivery, and high performance collaboration has taught us that what really counts is the individual talent of the project team and the leadership that we bring towards aligning the teams energy. 



James Phillip Wright AIA

A California Licensed Architect since 1988, Wright also holds a general contractor license since 1984. His years of experience in construction management and development, helps preserve the integrity of his designs throughout the construction process, and he works closely with his clients to overcome obstacles and minimize unnecessary changes. 

Wright was raised in Annapolis, Maryland, surrounded by stately Colonial buildings and neoclassical architecture. Fascinated by building and design from an early age, he was naturally drawn to the fields of construction and architecture. Wright graduated with honors from the University of Maryland’s nationally ranked architecture school in 1982. It was here that he became inspired by the style of Antonio Gaudi and the “formulas of nature.” He traveled to Spain, returned with the desire to create organic, modern architectural designs. 

At the University of Maryland Wright was a teaching assistant for “Solar Design and Energy” courses 1980-1982, “Day-lighting Design” 1981-1982, and special studies in Energy of Buildings and Thermodynamics 1982. Wright represented the University of Maryland in a "National Design and Energy Competition", winning Honorable Mention, 1981.

At the age of 26, Wright moved to California, and landed on a Rodeo Drive construction site at the invitation of a renowned Beverly Hills art dealer who asked him to contribute to the design of his Art Nouveau-style estate. At the project’s end in 1983, Malibu Spa and Pool hired Wright as a construction foreman. This gained him access to potential architecture clients by way of backyard remodels and designs, and ultimately led to Wright’s first large commission: an 18,000 square foot Mediterranean-French-style guest house for a Royal Family Saudi Prince’s Estate in Bel Air, California.

Between 1986 and 1995, Wright designed and built four classical estates in Beverly Hills, and a beach house in Malibu. In 1995, he closed Atelier Construction and Atelier Construction Management Inc. to focus solely on architecture and design. Two architecture commissions in the Californian Oakland Hills in 1995 and 1997 inspired Wright to move to Northern California and found James Phillip Wright Architects.

He rediscovered his passion for sustainable architecture in 2003 while designing a private residence in Carmel Valley. He calls the nature-inspired concept for the project “Ancient/Future,” which incorporates the classical formulas of the past with modern materials and sensibilities of the future. 

In 2009 he created Net Zero Energy Architects focusing on his passion for “Geo-Solar” Architecture. Wright was trained at CAL POLY San Luis Obispo, CA as a "Passive House Consultant" in 2011. Becoming a partner in Basement in 2011, he completed his first "Passive House" in Annapolis MD in 2012.

Contact Information:

Net Zero Energy Architects
209 Moraga Way
Orinda, CA 94563
(925) 788-5520