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NREL Teams with Habitat for Humanity to Build Zero Energy Home

Photo of the single-story, ranch-style 2005 NREL/Habitat house showing photovoltaic panels on the roof.

This zero energy home was built by NREL and Habitat Metro Denver in 2005.
Credit: Pete Beverly

November 15, 2006

This 3 bedroom, 1,200-ft2 home in Denver is not only affordable, it's a zero energy home! That means it is designed to produce as much energy as it consumes annually. Reaching zero energy in cold climates is challenging, so we designed a home that carefully combines the efficiency of the building envelope (i.e., insulation, windows, etc.) with efficient heating and cooling equipment, appliances, lighting, passive solar, solar- electric, and solar water heating features. The home was designed using BEOpt, building optimization software designed by NREL with additional analysis provided by DOE-2, a widely used and accepted freeware building energy analysis software program courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy. So far, the home is exceeding expectations and is a net-producer!

For more information about this home, read, "A Cold Climate Case Study for Affordable Zero Energy Homes." (PDF 648 KB) Download Adobe Reader.

Home Energy magazine has also featured this home on their Web site in an article called "The Little House that Could." To read the article, visit www.homeenergy.org.