The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Housing Innovation Awards recognized innovative homes on the path to zero energy at the EEBA Excellence in Building Conference in October. The awards recognize home builders and their leadership in five categories: custom buyer, custom spec, production, multifamily, and affordable homes.
“Housing Innovation Award winners are leading a national movement to Zero Energy Ready Homes, providing better places for Americans to live, stronger communities, and a more economically and environmentally resilient nation,” said Sam Rashkin, chief architect at DOE Building Technologies.
Alliance Green Builders from Ramona, California, was the Grand Winner in the Custom Buyer category. The project, Casa Aguila, is 3,129-square-foot home, organized around a central courtyard with R-56 wall insulation, a tight building envelope, efficient appliances and lighting. A solar hot water system and air to water heat pump serves the radiant slab providing heating. The 22-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic system and 3.2-kW wind turbine create energy, with a 40-kW energy storage system for back up electricity. This custom home minimizes its energy use enough to meet its own energy needs, charge two electric vehicles, and still return electricity to the grid. On average the utility provides them with a monthly $800 check for their grid energy contribution.
Winning homes from previous years can be viewed on the DOE Tour of Zero: https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/housing-innovation-awards