Energy Secretary Bodman Visits "Net-Zero Energy Home" Near Denver

June 13, 2005

Energy Secretary Bodman, wearing a hard hat, applies caulk to the frame of a house, as Paul Torcellini stands beside him, watching. In the background is wood framing and plastic with blue sky visible between the rafters.

Energy Secretary Bodman lends a hand at the Habitat for Humanity house as NREL's Paul Torcellini looks on.
Credit: Jack Dempsey, NREL

Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman visited Habitat for Humanity's first "true net-zero energy home" in a suburb of Denver, Colorado, on June 13th. The home, which is currently under construction, will be super-insulated, very tightly constructed, and designed for passive solar gain to reduce heating loads. In addition, a heat-recovery ventilation system will assure indoor air quality while recovering ventilation air thermal energy. To meet its energy needs, the home will be equipped with a solar water heating system and a grid-connected 4-kilowatt solar power system, sized to produce excess energy in the summer to balance out winter consumption, leading to net zero annual energy consumption.

"The Habitat for Humanity Zero Energy Home is a glimpse into the future of home construction in America," said Secretary Bodman. "Inefficient buildings and homes waste a tremendous amount of energy. Home energy efficiency can save families money by reducing energy consumption."

Habitat for Humanity is building the "true net-zero energy" home with technical assistance from DOE's Building America Program and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Habitat plans to adopt many of the techniques used in this home into its standard construction practices. See the DOE press release and the Building America Web site.