Zero Energy Ready Home logo with the words "Grand Winner, Housing Innovation Award 2023" below it.

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the grand winners of the 2023 Housing Innovation Awards during a ceremony at the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) High Performance Home Building Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Housing Innovation Awards recognize leading builders from across the country who are constructing Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH), the federal government’s highest certification program for home performance. Homes certified to the ZERH program deliver truly best-in-class performance, providing American homeowners with exceptional value, quality, and comfort. 

"Thanks to the leadership and entrepreneurial spirit of these dedicated builders who have worked for years with DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home 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 BTO Director Mandy Mahoney.

Housing Innovation Award winners represent the best-of-the-best in new home construction. For these builders, leveraging innovative technologies and systems along with a keen understanding of modern building science principles allows them to deliver an exceptional product to homebuyers. However, their impact goes much further than a happy homeowner. Their leadership allows the industry to see what is possible, paving the way for more rigorous standards and building codes that will improve home performance across the country. The 45L tax credit, which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued in Notice 2023-65 on September 27, 2023, also provides an incentive for more builders to join these leaders that build better homes prepared for future climate conditions. Through improved efficiency and reduced emissions, these builders are helping to reduce the negative impact that our housing stock has on the environment, bettering our communities, our nation and the world.

Winners were selected from an esteemed panel of judges, brought together for their expertise in the high-performance housing industry. From this pool of winners, grand winners were selected for each award category below. To qualify for a Housing Innovation Award, homes must be certified to the DOE’s ZERH national program requirements and be independently verified by qualified, third-party professionals.

The 2023 grand award winners are:

Off the Shelf Award– Awarded to the builder who best leverages readily available, off the shelf materials and systems to achieve advanced building science results.

Winner: Healthy Communities - Williamsburg, Virginia

Blazing the Trail Award– Awarded to the builder with the most innovative use of technologies, materials, sensors, automation, and advanced controls to optimize performance of the home.

Winner: Affordable Housing Concepts - Gardiner, New York

Class is in Session Award – Awarded to the builder who demonstrates excellent use of building for educational outreach and to inform the building industry, the homebuyer, and the public and/or local community about DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes.

Winner: Habitat for Humanity North Central Connecticut - Hartford, Connecticut

Decarbon Copy Award – Awarded to the builder whose innovative approach to decarbonization in Zero Energy Ready Homes produces the most replicability and predictability in results.

Winner: CGA Studio Architects - Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

The Total Package Award – Awarded to the builder who scored the highest across all award categories showing well-rounded achievement in ZERH.

Winner: Affordable Housing Concepts - Gardiner, New York

ZERH Champion Award – Awarded to the builder with the most DOE Zero Energy Ready one- and two- family homes built in the past year.

Winner: K. Hovnanian Northeast Division - Edison, New Jersey

See a complete list of Housing Innovation Award winners.

Past Housing Innovation Award winning homes can be viewed on the DOE Tour of Zero. For more information on the ZERH program and to learn how to qualify for next year’s Housing Innovation Awards visit this site.