NREL/Habitat for Humanity Zero Energy Home: A Cold-Climate Case Study for Affordable Zero Energy Homes

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In October 2005, a family moved into a Habitat for Humanity home near Denver, and became partners with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America (BA) program to understand how to create affordable zero energy homes (ZEHs) in cold climates. This report details the design, construction and performance of the home. The design elements resulted in success stories and a few bumps. Some highlights:

  • The home exceeded its goal of zero net source energy
  • The home was a net energy producer in its first two years
  • Efficient, affordable ZEHs can be built with standard construction techniques
  • Zero energy does not necessarily mean a zero utility bill
  • Photovoltaic system sizing for ZEHs is challenging

Explore working techniques to create an affordable zero energy home.

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