Secondary Author(s)

Parker, Danny; Sherwin, John; Colon, Carlos

Report Number




Zero Energy Homes; Buildings


The U.S. Department of Energy's Building America (BA) program is working to increase the energy efficiency of new and existing homes while increasing comfort, and durability and reducing resource use. As part of this program we pursue opportunities to research highly efficient homes with the goal of understanding what works, what doesn't work, and the most economic ways to reach very high efficiency targets. The program aims to create cost neutral zero energy homes by 2020. In pursuit of this goal, this home and other research homes around the country designed to approach or achieve the zero energy goal are being built and studied.

The performance summary on a near zero energy home (NZEH) presented here was a result of collaboration between the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) and an innovative developer and builder in Callaway, Florida (near Panama City in North Florida) under the auspices of the U.S. DOE sponsored Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership (BAIHP) project . This paper briefly reviews the design and then focuses on the first four months of energy performance of the project home during the second half of 2008.

In general, a zero energy home is designed to produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of a full year. The BA program definition is more specific: A zero energy home is designed to offset as much source energy as it consumes over a typical year (based on TMY data) using BA Benchmark assumptions for typical occupant behavior. To achieve zero energy the home exchanges energy with the utility power grid. It delivers energy to the grid when the photovoltaic (PV) system is producing more energy than is being used in the home and draws from the grid when the PV system is producing less energy than needed in the home.

The particular project here is termed 'a Near Zero Energy Home' (NZEH) with the intention that it provide 69% of its annual electrical energy requirement when evaluated over a full year. This project is a case study of reaching near the zero energy goals within a hot humid climate utilizing a modular construction approach to reduce cost and aid in quality control. Note that this is also the first LEED for Homes™ Platinum certified project in Florida.

Date Published


Local Subjects

Buildings - Zero Energy Homes


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection



Rights Statement

In Copyright