Performance House: A Cold Climate Challenge Home, Old Greenwich, Connecticut (Fact Sheet)

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


By working with builder partners on test homes, researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America program can vet whole-house building strategies and avoid potential unintended consequences of implementing untested solution packages on a production scale. To support this research, Building America team Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB) partnered with PreferredBuilders Inc. on a high-performance test home in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. The philosophy and science behind the 2,700 ft2 'Performance House' was based on the premise that homes should be safe, healthy, comfortable, durable, efficient, and adaptable to the needs of homeowners. The technologies and strategies used in the 'Performance House' were best practices rather than cutting edge, with afocus on simplicity in construction, maintenance, and operation. Achieving 30% source energy savings compared with a home built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code in the cold climate zone requires that nearly all components and systems be optimized. Careful planning and design are critical. The end result was a DOE Challenge Home that achieved a Home Energy Rating System (HERS)Index Score of 20 (43 without photovoltaics [PV]).
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5500-60189

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102013-4098


  • accessibility
  • best practices
  • Building America
  • challenge home
  • condensing boilers
  • EE
  • energy efficiency
  • green
  • hydro-coil heating
  • LED lighting
  • LEED for home
  • performance
  • PV
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • savings to investment ratio
  • sustainable
  • WaterSense Indoor airPLUS


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