U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Solar Energy Technologies Program – News
Zero Energy Home Displayed at International Builder's Show
January 28, 2004
The Ultimate Family Home.
Attendees at mid-January's International Builder's Show in Las Vegas,
Nevada, had a chance to tour a custom home that, over the course of a
year, will produce as much electricity as it uses. Called the
"Ultimate Family Home," it draws on two rooftop-mounted solar energy
systems: one for power and another for hot water. A highly efficient
air-conditioning system combines with good insulation, air sealing,
and advanced windows to keep the 5,300-square-foot home comfortable.
Other energy-saving highlights include tankless water heaters that
deliver hot water only on demand, fluorescent and LED lighting, and
heat-reflecting roof tiles combined with a radiant barrier for added
energy savings and comfort. The home will use 90 percent less energy
than a similar home built strictly to code.
DOE started the Zero Energy Homes initiative to bring the latest
research out of its national laboratories and into homes. DOE and its
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) partnered with Pardee
Homes and Consol Energy Consultants to build the Ultimate Family Home.
See the NREL press release and the Ultimate Family Home Web site.
The Ultimate Family Home was one of several energy-efficient homes
displayed at the builder's show, two of which were covered in the January 21st edition of the EERE Network News. In addition, a house called the "Home by Design
Showcase" was displayed in the parking lot of the Stardust Hotel. The
Home by Design Showcase is built on an insulated concrete foundation,
uses Structural Insulating Panels (SIPs) for the walls and roof, and
features Energy Star-labeled appliances and double-pane low-E windows.
Insulated metal window shutters help to further shut out the hot
afternoon sun. A tankless water heater supplies both hot water and
space heating, and a high-efficiency air conditioner is combined with
sealed ducts to cool the house efficiently. According to the home's
Web site, the house is 41.8 percent more efficient than required by
the Nevada Building Code. See the Home by Design Web site.