One aspect of Zero House that makes it really interesting is that it is not seen as a standalone house, but is designed to be part of a larger development. "Zero House is not a "house" but a prototype for HOUSING." This is an important point- it scales. It can be built in existing communities.
That's also why the team that put it together is so interesting; the model house was built by The Endeavour Centre in Peterborough, Ontario, where Chris Magwood has been writing books and teaching courses in sustainable construction techniques. TreeHugger has covered some of their work in Is this Canada's Greenest Home?
They worked with EcoStudio Ryerson, a collaborative research cluster of architecture, mechanical engineering and business students at Ryerson University in Toronto; Architect/ Professor Cheryl Atkinson led the design team.
The author, Lloyd Alter, teaches at the Ryerson University School of Interior Design, which had no involvement in the project.