Evaluation of a High-Performance Solar Home in Loveland, Colorado: (ISEC2005-76231)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Building America (BA) partner McStain Neighborhoods built the Discovery House in Loveland, Colorado, with an extensive package of energy-efficient features, including a high-performance envelope, efficient mechanical systems, a solar water heater integrated with the space-heating system, a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV), and ENERGY STAR(R) appliances. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory(NREL) and Building Science Consortium (BSC) conducted short-term field-testing and building energy simulations to evaluate the performance of the house. These evaluations are utilized by BA to improve future prototype designs and to identify critical research needs. The Discovery House building envelope and ducts were very tight under normal operating conditions. The HRV provided fresh air at arate of about 75 cfm (35 l/s), consistent with the recommendations of ASHRAE Standard 62.2. The solar hot water system is expected to meet the bulk of the domestic hot water (DHW) load (>83%), but only about 12% of the space-heating load. DOE-2.2 simulations predict whole-house source energy savings of 54% compared to the BA Benchmark [1]. The largest contributors to energy savings beyondMcStain's standard practice are the solar water heater, HRV, improved air distribution, high-efficiency boiler, and compact fluorescent lighting package.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2006
EventSolar Engineering 2005: 2005 International Solar Energy Conference (ISEC2005) - Orlando, Florida
Duration: 6 Aug 200512 Aug 2005


ConferenceSolar Engineering 2005: 2005 International Solar Energy Conference (ISEC2005)
CityOrlando, Florida

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-550-37576


  • BSC
  • Building America
  • Building Science Consortium
  • DOE
  • energy efficient homes
  • energy savings
  • high-performance home
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • NREL
  • PV
  • solar homes
  • U.S. Department of Energy


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