Today at the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) High Performance Home Building Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winners of its 2022 Housing Innovation Awards, the highest honor builders can receive for constructing Zero Energy Ready Homes. These high-performance homes are so energy efficient—often 40 to 50% more efficient than typical new homes—that they can offset most or all the energy they consume with a renewable energy system.
“Thanks to the leadership and entrepreneurial spirit of these dedicated builders who have worked for years with DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Homes program, more than 10,000 of these homes have been built, bringing cleaner, healthier, more durable, and more sustainable dwellings to communities across the country,” said EERE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Carolyn Snyder.
The Housing Innovation Awards recognize top builders of homes certified to DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) specifications, which set the federal government’s highest bar for energy and environmental performance in new residential construction. This year’s awards featured 26 homes across 18 states.
The Grand Winners in each award category are:
- Affordable Homes – ZeMod and Berecah Homes (Greenwood, DE)
- Attached Homes – Garbett Homes (Salt Lake City, UT)
- Custom Homes for Buyers (< 2500 ft2) – TC Legend Homes (Bellingham, WA)
- Custom Homes for Buyers ( > 2500ft2) – ZeroNetNow (Esopus, NY)
- Custom Homes built on Spec – SCC Group and Watershed (Fairhope, AL)
- Production Homes – Thrive Home Builders (Denver, CO)
A complete list of Housing Innovation Award winners can be seen here.
Housing Innovation Award winners are the boots on the ground leading the building industry’s efforts to construct cleaner, smarter, and more affordable homes that minimize a home’s contribution to the climate crisis. To qualify for a Housing Innovation Award, homes must be certified to the DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home national program requirements and be independently verified by qualified, third-party professionals. This level of quality assurance ensures that every certified home includes a comprehensive, high-performance package of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability unparalleled in today’s marketplace. In addition, every certified Zero Energy Ready Home includes:
- Certification to ENERGY STAR®’s Residential New Construction program for an efficient building envelope
- Certification to Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Indoor airPLUS program to deliver a healthy indoor environment
- Proven, energy-saving building technologies and best practices borne from the DOE Building America Research-to-Market Process.
The impact of Housing Innovation Award winners extends far beyond these criteria and even the construction site. Two other builders were also recognized for their investment in the future of the building industry. Mandalay Homes (Prescott, AZ) was recognized with an award in “Advanced Construction Practices” for using advanced construction technologies to dramatically minimize build times, construction waste, and operational energy performance. Their 2022 award-winning home was built in an all-electric community, where any costs for electric appliances and systems were offset by avoiding the cost of natural gas infrastructure.
Tim O’Brien Homes (Pewaukee, WI) was honored for their efforts in “Workforce Development and Training.” The Pewaukee, WI builder has partnered with 4 local school districts to give students real life experience in all phases of high-performance home building. Over 70% of program participants have gone on to jobs in construction trades.
Builders who want to certify their homes as Zero Energy Ready and qualify for next year’s Housing Innovation Awards can visit this website to access the program’s resources and requirements, read homeowner testimonials, and see examples of Zero Energy Ready Homes across the country on the DOE’s Tour of Zero.