Cold-Climate Case Study for Affordable Zero Energy Homes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This project, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America Program, is a case study in reaching zero energy within the affordable housing sector in cold climates. The design of the 1200 square foot, 3-bedroom Denver zero energy home carefully combines envelope efficiency, efficient equipment, appliances and lighting, and passive and active solar features to reach the zero energygoal. The home was designed using an early version of the BEOpt building optimization software with additional analysis using DOE2. This engineering approach was tempered by regular discussions with Habitat construction staff and volunteers. These discussions weighed the applicability of the optimized solutions to the special needs and economics of a Habitat house -- moving the design towardssimple, easily maintained mechanical systems and volunteer-friendly construction techniques.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2006
EventSolar 2006 Conference - Denver, Colorado
Duration: 9 Jul 200613 Jul 2006


ConferenceSolar 2006 Conference
CityDenver, Colorado

Bibliographical note

For preprint version see NREL/CP-550-39678

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-550-40559


  • affordable houses
  • BEopt building energy optimization software
  • Building America
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • zero energy homes


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