High-performance homes, especially those striving to achieve net zero energy performance, employ a number of energy efficient materials and construction practices that need to be integrated into the earliest phases of design. Customarily designers and architects may not specify certain energy-related details or may neglect to make certain decisions relating to energy performance strategies during the design phase, resulting in added costs for builders. For a successful zero energy project, architects and designers, together with their builders, should familiarize themselves with the 12 Steps to cost-effective zero energy home construction and pay special attention to the following design strategies, detailing them on the construction plans as needed. Attending to these energy performance details at the design stage will keep construction costs low.