How Zero-Energy Homes Can Help Achieve Consumers' Energy Wants

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More than 50% of consumers rated a zero-energy home (ZEH) as a desirable or must-have feature for their home purchases in NAHB’s recent What Home Buyers Really Want survey. Consumers will also pay an average of nearly $9,000 more for an environmentally friendly home to reduce the cost of their annual utility bills. ZEHs have the potential to achieve this by producing as much energy as they consume.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for building a ZEH, however. Although the materials and equipment needed to reach zero energy are available, designers and builders must create a bundle of energy-efficiency features to align with the climate, customers and business constraints.

Elements of zero-energy design and construction include:

  • Smart design
  • Orientation for sun tempering
  • Energy modeling
  • Super-sealed and super-insulated building envelopes
  • Optimum window efficiency
  • Proper ventilation to ensure clean, fresh air
  • High-performance heating and cooling systems
  • Correctly sized water heaters
  • High-efficiency lighting
  • Efficient appliances
  • Renewable energy sources

To help designers and builders better understand the options available to them to build ZEHs, the Energy and Environment Building Alliance (EEBA) is offering a training on June 5 through the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver on 12 Steps to Affordable Zero Energy Design & Construction. Participants will learn design principles, equipment options, emerging technologies, material selections and construction practices that can be integrated into their building process, with a goal of creating homes that are affordable, durable, safe, healthy, energy efficient and comfortable.

The program provides practical and applicable information suited for builders, designers, code officials, contractors, trade allies, and anyone working for a rating firm, home builder or residential trade contractor. NAHB continuing educations credits are available for this course.

To learn more, visit