2017 Housing Innovation Awards

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Housing Innovation Awards recognize the very best in innovation on the path to zero energy ready homes. DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) Housing Innovation Award Winners are selected for each of five categories: custom buyer, custom spec, production, multifamily, and affordable homes. One DOE ZERH Grand Housing Innovation Award Winner will be announced from among the winners in each of these categories at the Housing Innovation Awards ceremony.  The 2017 ceremony will take place at the EEBA Excellence in Building Conference, October 10-12th in Atlanta, GA.

Winners receive the following:

  • Recognition at the Housing Innovation Awards ceremony.
  • A HIA winner plaque for all winners and a crystal trophy for grand winners presented at the award ceremony.
  • Professional photographs of you or your company representative receiving the award from DOE.
  • Recognition in a DOE press alert informing national media about the Housing Innovation Awards.
  • A customizeable press release template with pre-approved mesaging from DOE.
  • A page featuring your award winning home on the DOE Tour of Zero.
  • Listing on the DOE Housing Innovation Awards webpage.
  • Special recognition on the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home partner locator


To enter the DOE ZERH Housing Innovation Awards:

  1. Download and complete application form and collect all of the required documents, photographs and floor plans. 
  2. Log in to your DOE Zero Energy Ready Home account, click on Housing Innovation Awards and upload the completed application and required documentation by June 15th , 2017.
  3. Winners will be notified by August 1, 2017. Winners will be presented awards and the grand winners will be announced at a ceremony held during the EEBA Excellence in Building Conference, October 10-12th, in Atlanta, GA. 

Click here to view our webinar presentation on 2017 Housing Innovation Awards: Application Process and Successful Strategies. This webinar will walk you through the application and upload process to ensure your get your homes submitted correctly. Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your application.

To better understand how your application will be reviewed by our judges, a copy of the 2017 Housing Innovation Awards Scoring Rubric is available. 


  • Your completed application form (MS Excel).
    •  TIP:  It is very important to complete each question in the application.  Judges will reduce scores for incomplete information and may deem your application ineligible.
  • Your completed DOE ZERH verification form (PDF) AND your DOE ZERH certificate (PDF).
    • TIP:   Your third-party verifier (e.g., registered HERS rater) will provide you with both documents printed from REMRate or other qualified software.
  • A minimum of 10 photographs (JPG 0.5 to 10 MB file size) showing:
    • 1 high resolution front elevation image (2400-4800 ppi),
    • minimum of 3 finished elevation images,
    • minimum of 3 finished interiors images,
    • minimum of 3 images of the home under construction with significant energy-efficiency details.
      • TIP:  Good photographs from each of these categories will increase your chances of winning.  The photographs will be used for case studies and the Tour of Zero.
  • Your floor plans (JPG or PDF) for the submitted home.
    • TIP:  Please send simple floor plans outlining the main spaces of the house. Blueprints and construction specifications are not accepted.  The floor plans will be used in the Tour of Zero and should be easy for a home buyer to understand.
  • Optional
    • Videos.  Videos are not required, but if you have videos, please include the YouTube or Vimeo link on the application form. 
      • TIP:  Videos do not serve as an application.  The application must be completed in text for the judges to review. Videos could include testimonials by home owners, or videos you use to market or show energy-efficiency features of your home. Please include links to videos by others about your home, if any, such as television news or utility programs.
    • Other Program Certifications and Awards.  Upload certificates (PDF) from other national, regional, and local certification and award programs.
    • Other attachments.  Upload other attachments you feel may strengthen your application; identify these attachments in your criteria narrative.


Which category best describes the DOE ZERH certified home you are submitting to the Housing Innovation Awards?

Custom Buyer – Custom home built for a specific buyer.

Custom Spec- Custom home built on an individual rather than production basis to be sold on speculation rather than pre-ordered by a buyer.

Production – Homes intended to be reporoduced using standard approaches and plans.  (Minimum 4 certified homes since June 2016)

Multifamily – Building has more than two units serving multiple homeowners or rental groups.

Affordable – A home constructed at an affordable price point.  Non-profits, government-affiliated organizations and for-profit builders are all eligible.