High Performance Homes That Use 50% Less Energy Than the DOE Building America Benchmark Building

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This document describes lessons learned from designing, building, and monitoring five affordable, energy-efficient test houses in a single development in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) service area. This work was done through a collaboration of Habitat for Humanity Loudon County, the US Department of Energy (DOE), TVA, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).The houses were designed by a team led by ORNL and were constructed by Habitat's volunteers in Lenoir City, Tennessee. ZEH5, a two-story house and the last of the five test houses to be built, provided an excellent model for conducting research on affordable high-performance houses. The impressively ... continued below

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Christian, J. January 1, 2011.

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this report can be viewed below.

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  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    Publisher Info: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
    Place of Publication: Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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Description

This document describes lessons learned from designing, building, and monitoring five affordable, energy-efficient test houses in a single development in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) service area. This work was done through a collaboration of Habitat for Humanity Loudon County, the US Department of Energy (DOE), TVA, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).The houses were designed by a team led by ORNL and were constructed by Habitat's volunteers in Lenoir City, Tennessee. ZEH5, a two-story house and the last of the five test houses to be built, provided an excellent model for conducting research on affordable high-performance houses. The impressively low energy bills for this house have generated considerable interest from builders and homeowners around the country who wanted a similar home design that could be adapted to different climates. Because a design developed without the project constraints of ZEH5 would have more appeal for the mass market, plans for two houses were developed from ZEH5: a one-story design (ZEH6) and a two-story design (ZEH7). This report focuses on ZEH6, identical to ZEH5 except that the geothermal heat pump is replaced with a SEER 16 air source unit (like that used in ZEH4). The report also contains plans for the ZEH6 house. ZEH5 and ZEH6 both use 50% less energy than the DOE Building America protocol for energyefficient buildings. ZEH5 is a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2632 ft2 house with a home energy rating system (HERS) index of 43, which qualifies it for federal energy-efficiency incentives (a HERS rating of 0 is a zero-energy house, and a conventional new house would have a HERS rating of 100). This report is intended to help builders and homeowners build similar high-performance houses. Detailed specifications for the envelope and the equipment used in ZEH5 are compared with the Building America Benchmark building, and detailed drawings, specifications, and lessons learned in the construction and analysis of data gleaned from 94 sensors installed in ZEH5 to monitor electric sub-metered usage, temperature and relative humidity, hot water usage, and heat pump operation for 1 year are presented. This information should be particularly useful to those considering structural insulated panel (SIP) walls and roofing; foundation geothermal heat pumps for space heating and cooling; solar water heaters; and roof-mounted, grid-tied photovoltaic systems. The document includes plans for ZEH6 (adapted from ZEH5), a one-story, high-performance house, as well as projections of how the design might perform in five major metropolitan areas across the TVA service territory. The HERS ratings for this all-electric house vary from 36 (Memphis, Tennessee) to 46 (Bristol, Tennessee).

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2011/17
  • Grant Number: AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/1045337 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1045337
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc828082

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • January 1, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 5, 2016, 7:41 p.m.

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Christian, J. High Performance Homes That Use 50% Less Energy Than the DOE Building America Benchmark Building, report, January 1, 2011; Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc828082/: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.