Here is the text version of the Zero Energy Ready Home webinar, "How States can Leverage Zero Energy Ready Home" ("Zero Energy Ready Home for Affordable Housing Programs"), presented in June 2017. Watch the webinar.

Alex Krowka:
Presentation cover slide:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to DOE Zero Energy Ready Home's training webinar series. We're excited that you can join us today for "Zero Energy Ready Home for Affordable Housing Programs." Today's presenters are Sam Rashkin and Jamie Lyons. Today's session is one in a continuing series of training webinars to support our partners in designing, building, and selling DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes. My name is Alex Krowka, and I provide technical support for the program. I'll take a moment to cover some general notes on webinar housekeeping. All attendees will be on listen-only mode, however, we do invite you to ask questions throughout the session in the questions section of the GoToWebinar program. We'll monitor these throughout the webinar, and after the presentation we'll have some time to go over some of the questions that weren't answered during the webinar. This session is being recorded, and it will be placed on the resources page of the Zero Energy Ready Home website. Please allow some time for this, since it does take a few days to a week or so to go through the process of being added online. However, we will notify everyone once everything is uploaded. Now, a quick little intro bio for our first speaker, Sam Rashkin. He's the chief architect of the U.S. DOE Building Technologies Office and has earned a national reputation for his work leading housing programs that have partnered with thousands of home builders and resulted in over 1 million certified high-performance homes. After launching ENERGY STAR® Homes at EPA, and growing this program nationally, Sam has been leading DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home program for the past several years, enabling leading builders to gain market differentiation while moving the housing industry to the next level of efficiency and performance. So now I'm going to go ahead and hand it over to Sam, to go ahead and get us started.

Sam Rashkin:
Hey, thank-you, Alex. Can everyone hear me? I'm good to go? Great. Hey, welcome. This is -- this presentation today is specifically targeted for affordable housing stakeholders. And again, and that is state housing finance programs in particular. So we're going to talk today about the fact that Zero Energy Ready Home is perfectly aligned with the interests of affordable housing programs.

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And the outline for today will be first, why zero energy is affordable. Then we'll look at Zero Energy Ready Home and other green efficiency and affordable housing programs, how they all stack up here. We'll go to the zero specifications, that easy lift, effectively from ENERGY STAR to get to Zero. And we'll wrap up with how to integrate Zero Energy Ready Home into state-qualified action programs. So that's the outline.

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Let's go right into the first module, about why is zero energy home affordable.

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And that discussion starts first by looking at this new risk reality, that we are in today, even with code homes. And what's happened over time, on the horizontal axis you see, going from 1970 to 2015, and on the vertical axis you see energy use index, a scale from, in this case, 100 to 40. But index numbers are less critical than the degree with which homes are reducing the energy requirements per square foot. And that's shown, in this case, with highlights from the 2006, 2009, 2012, and '15 IECC, International Energy Conservation Code. And since 2006, there's been nearly a 40-percent increase in rigor in the energy codes at the national level. And a lot of that's coming about because of Building America and the ENERGY STAR program that have been so successful developing innovations and moving those innovations to the marketplace. But if we look at basically just since 2009, and, Jamie, if you could be highlighting the slides -- I'll hit it one more time. You'll see that we're in, since 2009, what I call the risk zone. We're building even code homes, a minimum-code home, is creating a risk reality for home builders, for home occupants, that really has changed the entire landscape of home building.

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And if we were to look at how this has happened, basically, what's happened was we of course had a basic house we used to build before codes were rigorous. Then the codes got more rigorous; HERS scores got much lower. And then we wound up with homes that have more insulation, better windows, and much more airtight. And that's led to what we call this advanced enclosure. Again, even a minimum-code home has the advanced enclosure, and that advanced enclosure is in fact the risk driver.

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So what we would like to do is answer some affordability questions about is a home affordable if it doesn't address that new risk driver? So let's start with the first one.

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Is a home affordable if it doesn't provide full water protection? And let's start with the advanced enclosure and the reality that because of that advanced enclosure, we have colder surfaces on the inside surface of the wall cavity that's facing the cold conditions. So in the winter, that would be the inside face of the sheathing, and in summer, it would be the inside face of the drywall. And since it's much colder, you have much more potential for wetting, and therefore we have less -- and with all the extra insulation, we have less thermal flow to dry it. So we have less drying potential. Colder surfaces, less drying potential means we have more wetting potential. And therefore it's critical that we have moisture control that ensures they don't get wet. And that will include water managed roofs, water managed walls and openings, water managed foundation, and again inside spaces that are exposed to water from generated indoors need to be protected, as well. So this is a critical thing for all housing and particularly affordable housing, where the owners have much, much less disposable income to manage problems that occur because water protection is not provided.

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So is a home affordable if it doesn't do that? Second question: Is a home affordable if it doesn't ensure comfort? And here's our friendly advanced enclosure again. And because of the advanced enclosure, some good things happen. We have much lower heating and cooling requirements, and we have much greater control in the radiant temperatures, which means the surface temperatures are actually working with us and ensuring comfort. But also we have some challenges. We have much, much less air flow because we have so much less Btu of heat or cooling that have to be provided. And we have longer swing seasons. Cooling may not start until mid-June, when it used to start at end of May. And that means we have some new risk. Are we going to be sure that we're mixing air for full comfort, when the air flow is so much less? And will we have complete relative humidity control when the swing season is so much longer and the humidity was often an accidental byproduct of the air conditioning that was happening during those swing season time periods? That means to ensure comfort, and ensure even in affordable housing people have the right to enjoy their spaces indoors, we need a quality installation of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. And that includes right-sizing and/or variable-speed equipment that can ensure the air flow is proper. Secondly, it ensures ducts are inside a conditioned space, so that the system's under much less stress and can perform much better without the exposed outdoor conditions. Or even worse, in an attic, where it can get really hot, way above the outdoor conditions. Are we installing the equipment properly so that it delivers the air flow and the refrigerant charge and all the other requirements of a well-functioning system? And lastly, is it complete? Are we managing relative humidity? Are we ensuring pressure balancing that has to be in place when you have central return systems? So this is a fundamental requirement to ensure comfort, this quality installation, particularly so with a high-performance enclosure.

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Third question: Is a home affordable if it doesn't protect occupant health, and leads to as a result much higher expenses and/or inability to go to work or attend school, whatever it may be? And there's our friendly advanced enclosure, again driving risk. And the reason it's driving risk in this case is the homes are much, much tighter, which means there's much less natural air exchange. As a result, the risk factor, the result of that is that you have the ability to accumulate a lot more contaminants. So to manage that risk, indoor air quality is no longer extra credit. You need a three-pronged system to ensure comprehensive indoor air quality. First is you need source control to minimize contaminants in the space. Sometimes it's the materials you use, and sometimes it's blocking contaminants from getting indoors with various screens and filters. Second, it's having dilution or a fresh-air system that ensures there's proper mixing and dilution of contaminants. And lastly, it's high-capture filtration. It effectively removes particulates from the airstream in the comfort system. And normally it's very typical to put in very ineffective filters; we're looking for much more effective high-capture filtration. Is a home affordable if people cannot stay healthy in that house?

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Fourth question: Is a home affordable if it doesn't protect future value? Even low-income houses deserve the ability to note the largest investment of a lifetime has the ability to provide a decent return on that investment. And there's our friendly advanced enclosure. And what we know with the advanced enclosure is that within three or four years of a normal code cycle, even that advanced enclosure will be obsolete. And that's because normal code changes occur in a three- or four-year timeframe. So the risk is that we have an obsolete house. In fact, even an ENERGY STAR home built to the minimum requirements, 2009 code, will be out of date when the 2012 code comes. So we want to make sure that we -- Jamie keep hitting -- we mitigate this near-term obsolescence. And the way we do that is by in fact building to the next code on the books, ready to be put in place in the future. That would be like -- not doing that would be like knowing the next model car is available on the marketplace and buying a much older car. So we know we can get an advanced future-ready solution. And often that entails more airtightness, a better window, and more insulation. The degrees that were determined to be cost-effective and market-ready because code approval or code development processes have very, very rigorous requirements that in fact the market's ready for those codes. So it only makes sense to build a home to the future code and protect the affordability of that house.

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Fifth question would be, is a home affordable if it doesn't minimize the energy bills? And it's great that we now have this optimized enclosure that reduces the heating and cooling loads. But now because those loads are so small, in fact, heating and cooling is less than 50 percent of the energy use, if we're truly going to reduce the total energy bill, we have to address the other components and energy uses in the home. And so the way we do that and manage that risk is we have ENERGY STAR components throughout the house: the equipment, lighting, appliances, and fans. So that's a way to protect this risk.

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And the last risk I want to talk about is, is the home affordable if it doesn't provide a path to Zero? Just because you're a low-income house doesn't mean that household doesn't deserve an opportunity to also take advantage of going to Zero. And there's the optimized enclosure, which winds up with incredibly low heating and cooling requirements, and now has efficient components. It means it's now ready to go to Zero. And the way that we manage the risk, so it is ready to go to Zero, is simply to put in low-cost / no-cost solutions that ensure the homeowner has required calculations in place in the wiring, place for balance the system, the circuit breakers can have extra space for the solar system. Low-cost / no-cost details will help manage that risk. So there are these basic risk management strategies.

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And if we go to the next slide we see, in fact, that the Zero Energy Ready Home spec goes after each and every one of those affordability elements. And we have the optimized enclosure system, we have the water protection system, the optimized comfort system, the complete indoor air quality system, the energy efficient components, and the solar-ready system. This is in fact a house built to the power of Zero. And what's so important for the marketplace is the trusted voice of authority that enables everyone to have confidence that home will meet these rigorous requirements. This is truly an affordable house. OK, so let's go on to the next module. Oh, first let me explain what these boxes mean. Those blue boxes show you, in fact, what would be what you get with an ENERGY STAR-certified home in contrast. So how much of the optimized enclosure do you get? A good chunk, about three-fourths of that. You get most of the water protection system. You get about two-thirds of the optimized comfort system. About half of the indoor air quality system. But you see basically what a Zero Energy Ready Home is in fact adding to the baseline of an ENERGY STAR home, and shows how significant it is at completing all these very, very important building blocks to affordability, in fact, the six complete risk management systems. Jamie will be going through all these specifications later, and provide more information about them at that time.

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And the good thing about this is now we have a clear definition for Zero Energy Ready Homes. It's both a high-performance home and an energy-efficient home. In fact, a high-performance home so efficient, all or most annual consumption can be offset by renewable energy. What that means, in fact -- we're kind of indifferent to whether the renewable energy system is there during construction or if it can be added later. The point is a 100-, 200-year opportunity cost in terms of an enclosure that's ready to really be affordable for generation after generation is now constructed so it can provide that function. Next slide.

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So let's move into something very important, which is, we have to inform the marketplace basically about why this affordability is there. And in fact, what I'm going to demonstrate is that's happening on its own. The marketplace is being more and more informed, and affordability is going to be much, much more obvious to the marketplace. Let's look at why that's happening.

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It begins with this technology, an infrared camera that used to be so expensive, it was not well-distributed by energy experts and building science experts.

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But today a good infrared camera is so low-cost, almost anyone can have a camera. In fact, here's a $200 add-on camera to a smart phone that can take reasonably good infrared images. Or a dedicated camera can be available to a home inspector or energy or home energy rater for just hundreds of dollars.

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So we have the very low-cost cameras; we also have mobile infrared cameras. Here's one by a company called Essess that's mounted on a roof of a Toyota that can drive around, take infrared images like this. This company is based on incredibly bright computer experts from MIT who developed very sophisticated algorithms for diagnosing what's going on in homes based on the infrared camera, and that can drive across an entire city like Cambridge and create maps like this in one or two nights, basically diagnosing an entire city in terms of good or bad homes, when it comes to energy-efficient performance. There's a lot of information about homes that's going to be increasing in the marketplace.

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And beyond the mobile camera, we're even seeing drone mapped cameras and companies that are based on providing a service where they fly cameras over buildings or other facilities and diagnose those.

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And then there are airborne and freight cameras that fly over cities and communities and can very quickly create an entire infrared diagnostic for a community based on at least the performance of the roof systems, which often is an indicator for the performance for the whole house. So here's a city of Alberta, Canada, and they're using a program like this to diagnose the performance of their homes.

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And then there are satellite images that are available that are used in many marketplaces in Europe. Here's a case in the UK, where again, an infrared image is used to diagnose whether homes are high-performance or low-performance. So when you don't see heat coming out of the roof of homes like the one that's noted here in the bubble at the bottom, "Well-insulated," it's because again, the house has been improved. We know it's being heated because of the chimneys or flues that show some heat coming out of the top of the roof through those flues. And then we see other homes that are so much less efficient throughout that location. So you really see the difference when homes are improved or not improved and people have this information.

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So moving forward, we see cities are starting to adopt programs to do infrared diagnostics. Here, the city of Vancouver is basically going to go through with at least five neighborhoods at first, and eventually they're interested in doing the whole city. So they can start improving their infrastructure of homes and create a completely improved, more-affordable living experience in their community. Next slide.

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And so let's look at basically what the informed buyer is going to know about. First of all, they're going to know about thermal defects. Infrared cameras are amazingly effective at creating images that even the most lay consumer will understand that something's wrong with their house. In case, again, the thermal bypass happening at the top of the gable roof here. And so people know thermal defects.

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And here's a slab edge insulation where, again, here's a case where the slab edge insulation is missing, and the glow around the base of the house at the foundation just shows the thermal expressway of heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.

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The informed buyer's going to know about this. And here again is that aerial image zooming down on some homes. We know that these homes are losing a lot of heat in winter because of the light colors show the heat flow coming up through the attic. So we know these homes are trouble. People will know their homes are not performing. And as a result, we think people will know about thermal defects Hit the next slide.

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And one case that's really significant in apartment living and many affordable housing that have balconies, often the balconies are this huge thermal bypass because thermal ridging is missing at the balcony. And people, again, know that there's definitely a thermal problem going on here in the house.

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So Zero is ready for informed buyers because it minimizes the risk of all these thermal defects.

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Next, informed buyers will know about poor windows. Now here's a house in Brooklyn where one of the units was retrofitted with high-performance windows. And often I ask people to take a guess which one it is. And of course, it's pretty obvious and it's the one there kind of in the middle, and what I love is the fact that they had to leave the old historic doors in this house and that shows the fact that there is a lot of heating still going on in that house. But the power of windows that work really well and are replaced in a quality installation manner to completely change the performance of the home is evident. So not only is this home more affordable; it's also more comfortable, so people, again, can have a much more decent living experience.

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And again, if we hit at the slide again, windows are often becoming the big weak link, because as we get better at finding ways to insulate homes, and we don't find the resources to do the windows, the windows just become the large thermal hole left in the structure.

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And the difference between this and what you get if you click it again, in a high-performance home with good windows and good walls, is dramatic.

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So if you go to the next slide, you'll see basically that Zero is ready for the informed buyer because it integrates advanced windows.

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Now, moving on to moisture control. Buyers will definitely know when homes have moisture problems, because infrared cameras also are excellent at revealing moisture problems. There's a different kind of way that the image evidences itself to reveal moisture versus thermal problems. But here again, it's obvious without kickoff flashing, where the roof meets the wall, water is accumulating into the siding and a definite moisture issue needs to be managed.

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And to go to the next slide, about 95 percent of all homes at least do not have pan flashing at the sill. And 100 percent of windows leak. So we have this tremendous risk that homes have the potential for moisture issues at windows. And again, this is an affordability issue, in terms of the house being durable over time, not needing maintenance over time, and since all homes, all windows leak, this is something that is not affordable for anybody in low-income housing.

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So what we'll say is the informed buyer is going to know about moisture problems, because it will be so evident in infrared diagnostics.

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Moving on to HVAC systems, we'll definitely have more information about HVAC quality installation, because diagnostic systems are coming out now that are really effective. And soon on-board fault detection diagnostics will be part and parcel of all equipment. In this one example, six sensors are installed on the equipment. In less than 15 minutes, only $50 of hardware, and as a result you get a complete diagnostic report. If you hit it again ...

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Basically, you know about the charge, whether it's low or high. Capacitor, if it's failed, start or run. The air flow across the condenser and evaporator. The operation is normal / abnormal. And the actual energy performance of the equipment.

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So the informed buyer is going to have all this information, and as it gets more high-tech and integrated with smart phones and on-board dashboards in homes, people will know whether homes are installed with problem-free systems or the efficiency of the performance is meeting the rated level for the equipment. So people will know about HVAC quality.

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And because of that, if you hit it again, Zero is ready for the informed homebuyer. It helps ensure quality HVAC installations.

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Then moving on to air quality, we know we have a problem. Research is telling us, two to five times more contaminants indoors than outdoors, and up to 100 times greater.

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All the time that we're spending more time indoors. And as a result, we're often seeing an epidemic of respiratory illnesses in homes. One in 10 children suffer from asthma. So it's a big health issue.

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It's a big affordability issue in low-income housing. Now we'll have various kinds of systems that will report the air quality of our homes. Ones that are already on the marketplace like this tell us about the main contaminants and whether levels are excessive. New dashboard systems that are coming on will tell us about the same information in a much more easy to digest (go to next slide) format.

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So again, we will know when we have problems. And again, what's so important is that, I don't think any segment of the population is less able to manage the repercussions of poor indoor air quality than low-income households.

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And so Zero is ready for informed buyers because it helps minimize the risk of health problems.

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OK, the other thing I want to really talk about as a big deal is this hidden reality that in fact, Zero Energy Ready Homes are actually lower cost to own than code-minimum homes. So our staff did some analysis, that we did a case study, in this case for Florida. We looked at the cost and the estimated benefits and did a comparison. So the added first costs for this case study revealed to be about $1,500 to $5,000, depending on a whole range of ways that you can achieve Zero Energy Ready Home performance. Now, amortized over a mortgage, it came to $4 to $14 a month, with the typical -- in this case, Habitat for Humanity mortgage product that was provided. The energy savings estimated were $50 a month, and I often find the savings can be conservative. But in this case, this is based on three case studies for Zero Energy Ready Homes. And the net is that the day you move in, this house is paying you $36 to $46 a month, which is $500-600 a year, and over the life of ownership can be tens of thousands of dollars, or life of a mortgage. And that doesn't even count the non-energy cost savings that happen from lower health costs, lower maintenance, and the fact that also when it comes time to sell, a house that's actually ready for the future, that has a track record of low bills, it's built to the highest standards that meet and exceed even future expectations, is also ready to return a higher sale price. So all this goes into the cost equation, and the highest cost option is building to minimum code. And this is a much, much, much more affordable choice for consumers.

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So moving on to other informed homebuyer areas of interest is just the utility bill. And here's utility bills by a company called Opau, works with a lot of utilities. And very simply you know if you're below average or your house is doing great, based on your consumption compared to your neighbors. So people will have this information about how the home is working.

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And also have an asset score for how the house is built. The other was an operational score for how you use the energy in the house. This asset score for how it's built is from the Department of Energy. It's called a Home Energy Score. And again, a low score is very low-performing; a high score is very high-performing. And/or there's a HERS index, which is a Home Energy Rating System index, where again, a low score in this case is very efficient, and a high score is not efficient.

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So Zero Ready Home is all attuned for informed buyers because it optimizes energy efficiency. And is truly affordable.

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Buyers will also know trusted performance. And it's because there's all these trusted independently validated labels and metrics for their home. There's a HERS index, ENERGY STAR, Zero Ready, Passive House, the green programs, WaterSense for water conservation, airPLUS is an EPA label for air quality, Fortified for Safer Living is an Institute for Business home safety label for resistance, disaster resistance. So there's lots of trusted labels. And the more that these labels appear on homes, like in the next slide, you'll see that again, informed buyers will know about the fact that their house is built to the next level of performance.

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And in this case, the next level of affordability. So informed buyers will know about performance, and trusted performance that they can bank on.

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So wrapping this up: We have the informed homebuyer. So now the key challenge is to communicate this affordability to them. I'll go through just some simple messages that help us do this.

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And it starts with how Zero Energy Ready Home likes to convey to buyers the very core simplicity of what's being brought to the table.

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So I can have three choices in front of me, and I can present those to a group of experts -- a code home, a Zero Energy Ready Home, or an ENERGY STAR home on the right (with the label missing). And ask homebuyers, would you spend the extra $3,000 or $2,000 for an ENERGY STAR home, the extra $4,000 or $5,000 for the Zero Energy Ready Home, or would you buy the code home? And in every case that we do this kind of little mini-survey in front of experts, they always tell us they would choose the Zero Energy Ready Home. Because the experts know that these homes have must-have solutions that create a much, much higher level of consumer experience. In fact, Zero Energy Ready Home is the expert's choice. So if you hit it again, Jamie ...

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So this is our basic core message. You know, it's not focusing on one thing like energy or comfort or durability. It's a fact that you have one choice, one chance to get the right choice making a home before you're locked in -- how good is it knowing that when it comes to performance, this is the home an expert would choose, all else being equal between an ENERGY STAR, a code home, or Zero Ready. And there's a reason they choose this. If you go to the next slide ...

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The story behind that choice is that first it begins with the knowledge that homes are a tough purchase. It's like one chance, like I said, to build them right. As a result, it's an overwhelming purchase. We know what we don't know, and we know it's very tough to know what's behind the walls. And we don't know a lot about how the house will be for us living in the home.

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And so our message is that, it's great to know when it comes to performance, there's reasons experts think you should choose a much higher level, a level that meets a Zero Energy Ready Home. And it has to do with six must-have systems. And if you can click it again ...

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Those six -- or seven must-have systems. The first is that you have to have optimized thermal protection that's future-ready. It's crazy not to build to what's looming ahead as the next requirement in housing. And buy a product that's built and obsolete. It's crazy not to have whole-house water protection, because nothing is more costly and difficult than to have water problems. Third, you must have, experts know, high-performance heating and cooling, because they know that systems not only have to be efficient but installed properly to be comfort-ready. And every expert would insist on high-efficient components because they last longer, they work better, they're just tech-ready. And every expert would insist on a complete indoor air quality system, knowing that we're indoors 60 percent of the time in our homes, and that air quality has to be over and over diluted and filtered and treated. So they want a house that's health-ready. And every expert would insist on a solar-ready construction, because it costs so little to make a house zero-ready for the future, a chance to go to a zero bill. And every expert would insist upon enhanced quality assurance: checklists, independent verification, guidelines that represent the highest requirements for the federal government. They want a house that's performance-ready.

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And the biggest thing about this is the experts know that you can get all this for lower cost. Yes, the monthly mortgage may be a little higher. But when you add in the utility bills per month, in fact you have a net difference where the zero-ready home compared to a code home is the lowest-cost choice for your homeownership.

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So, in the end, the way to get all this is by looking for the Zero Energy Ready Home label. And there's lots of information if you go to the Zero Energy Ready Home website. That's a simple message to help consumers understand just how high value this choice is. Hit it again.

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And then we can go to the next slide to show also how we use contrast to convey the value of this home.

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You'll have to hit it one more time, since this slide didn't quite work out, Jamie. One more time.

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So what we do is provide very simple comparison bars across all the different benefits of owning a Zero Energy Ready Home -- health, comfort, durability, quality and so forth. And the way the contrast works so simply is we compare the DOE Zero Energy Home to the most likely contrast you would have, which is an ENERGY STAR home. And then we compare it to an existing home, which is often the most likely choice people make. Five out of six homes purchased are existing homes. And we show the compromise that you would take: "Mr. and Mrs. Smith, every Zero Energy Ready Home has 100 percent of the requirements of the leading authority on health in our nation, leading requirements they believe should be in every new home, and meet the Indoor airPLUS requirement. You get half that protection with an ENERGY STAR home built to its requirements, and hardly any with an existing home." Once you have these simple bars, you see basically what you would have to give up by not choosing the Zero Energy Ready Home. Very simple to make a case where something like this is important.

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And we use the same content of these comparison bars in most of our communication, like this is our brochure the same way, and if we had to explain the health benefits, we would circle the health requirement, healthy environment, portion of this brochure in the same way.

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The other thing I would highlight, too, in terms of contrast, is just to look how builders who are building homes are able to position themselves when they build Zero Energy Ready Home. Here's a typical advertisement, just about the price at some location. And when you have a builder who is able to move to Zero Ready Home, their message can be pretty profound and in contrast to that really basic message.

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In this case "My power bill is $5. What's yours?" And it's from the homeowner explaining an amazing life experience in this house compared to just the other message, just look where we're located and look at our price.

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And then one more thing, in terms of contrast, is the ability to capture the experiences via testimonials and use those to really explain the difference that probably in no other way could be as emotionally impactful. Here, we have a family where after just a few months living in the house, they were able to throw away the inhaler, and that was priceless. And again, this experience comes from a family in Michigan, when doing a dedication of a Zero Ready Home in that market. So there you have the messages that hopefully are fairly effective at explaining what you're doing.

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And I'm going to hand off at this point to Jamie Lyons -- and I don't know, Alex, if you do a quick bio or not, but I'll let him take you the rest of the way.

Jamie Lyons:
Thanks, Sam. Hey, Alex, I did see questions come in; you want to just put out one or two for Sam or I to respond to at this point?

Alex Krowka:
Sure. So, the first question was early in the webinar, and it was will exterior insulation address the advanced enclosure moisture dry risk?

Sam Rashkin:
That's an excellent question, and the first thing I want to say is that you have so many different choices for how you achieve the performance targets. Exterior insulation is one very good choice for doing it. The reason it's such a good choice is the point you address about moisture. When you have insulation outboard the structure, you keep reducing or you keep increasing the surface temperature of that inside surface that we talked about. So what happens when you put insulation outboard, the greater amount you put, the higher you raise the temperature, the least likely you are to have a wetting surface inside the wall cavity. And so therefore, that's a risk reduction strategy, putting insulation outboard. You could do strategies like using SIP walls, which are so well-filled and so effective at reducing air pathways that they often can be very effective at managing moisture. Or you can use a wall system like insulated concrete form or panel that, again, reduces air pathways because of the inherent way it's constructed. I even know builders in some markets that do double walls and just choose to be diligent about protecting the air flow pathways that can get to the inside surface, knowing how in a double-wall assembly there's such a high likelihood that the temperature inside that outside sheathing surface will be well below the dew point. So you have lots of choices. One is where you take on the risk like with the double wall and just be diligent, or you choose the inherently lower risk strategy you mentioned with insulation outboard that will create a surface temperature that doesn't allow wetting and therefore can be more forgiving of some mistakes. So those are the choices each builder has to make. There's almost a myriad of choices that will meet the thermal performance requirements. You have to figure out where you are in terms of your risk management preference and how those costs play out with each option.

Jamie Lyons:
Great. Thanks, Sam. I think, Alex, I'll forge ahead. Thanks, everybody, for joining us. And rest assured, this is section 2, but section 1 is by far the longest. So we'll cruise right ahead and give a little background about Zero Energy Ready Home and how it relates to a number of the other programs -- green, efficiency and otherwise -- which can also be referenced in states with QAPs.

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So, quick step back. What types of homes, what types of buildings, are we talking about? And if you know ENERGY STAR Homes and their eligibility provisions for different building types, we are one in the same. So, single-family, obviously, single-family attached and detached. We go into three-story multifamily. We also go into four- and five-story multifamily, and relatively new, we updated our specs to accept those four- and five-story multifamily, which can have central HVAC and/or central hot water, just like ENERGY STAR Homes has done. So we did that to be consistent with ENERGY STAR and also to give a nod toward more projects in that part of the market, which have expressed interest in being Zero Energy Ready. And then down here at the bottom, I do note the majority of our projects are new construction, although there is a pathway for gut rehab projects to be certified, as well.

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The next few slides just cover a little bit of background about how Zero Ready relates to some of the other affordable and efficiency and green programs. So starting with Enterprise Green Communities, DOE Zero Ready is recognized within Green Communities. And that second bullet there shows that there's 12 points available, as called out in that Section 5.2B. Zero Ready projects would qualify for 12 of those additional points that need to be gained for Enterprise Green Communities certification.

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Likewise, if we want to take a look at LEED for Homes version 4, same kind of thing. There's points available. LEED recognizes that Zero Ready projects can be awarded a minimum of 26.5 points. Those points sort of cascade across the energy and atmosphere sections, as well as the IEQ sections. If you're interested in learning a little bit more about this, there's a LEED interpretation ID number 10431 there down at the bottom. We did have a question about whether these slides would be available after the session, and yes, they will be posted on the website along with the recording. So you don't have to record little tidbits like that.

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Sam mentioned working with Habitat for Humanity. It's been really nice to see that there's a growing number of affiliates that have partnered with the program, and within that group there's a subset that have built several homes at this point. And their experience has been such that they feel like the spec delivers a very competitive, low total cost of ownership such that they're building 100 percent of their starts now to Zero Ready Home. So they're exclusively building within our program at this point, for several of the affiliates.

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And then a quick note about PHIUS, Passive House Institute U.S. So these little icons show sort of the flow of prerequisites. So ENERGY STAR Homes, as well as Indoor airPLUS, are both prerequisites for Zero Energy Ready Home. They give us some of the six complete systems Sam mentioned. And then Zero Ready in turn is a prerequisite for PHIUS+ projects. So again, just to raise some awareness about how the program relates to some of the other green and efficiency programs out in the market.

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And then if we turn the page and take a look at state low-income housing tax credit programs, a good number -- about 70 percent, perhaps more -- today of states in their QAPs do award points for energy efficiency. And then as we look out over the landscape today, to the best of our knowledge, there's a handful of states listed here that do award points for Zero Energy-certified projects in their 2017 qualified allocation plans. Again, it's kind of gratifying; for the most part, those states have found our program, which has given us some motivation to take the initiative and try to reach out to the industry, specifically the low-income housing tax credit market, as we're doing today. And try to make the market more aware of the opportunity to leverage Zero Energy Ready Home.

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So the specs. There's a lot in there, but we like to tell our partners, if you have an awareness and understanding of ENERGY STAR Homes, that is a big part of our spec. We go above and beyond, as Sam showed it, with those light blue bars a few slides ago. But I'll quickly walk us through the specs, and I'll do that relative to ENERGY STAR Homes.

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Because that's a good starting point for efficiency, as well as good building science. So in this deck, what I'm doing is just building up a few different benchmarks. We have a 2012 code-compliant house on the left, left-hand column. And we have ENERGY STAR version 3, version 3.1. And then Zero Energy Ready Home as we work our way left to right. So the real delta that we talk about with our partners between ENERGY STAR and Zero Energy Ready Home are those yellow boxes. You can see as we go across left to right, the HERS get lower. The homes get more efficient, and dwelling units. From the 70s down to the 60s, 50s to where Zero Ready is in the low-40s, high-50s. Or mid-50s. Our enclosures get better. ENERGY STAR 3.0 is at '09, 2009 building envelope. ENERGY STAR 3.1 steps it up to 2012. And then here we are at 2012 or 2015. And then ENERGY STAR like Zero Ready has an independent verifier. Complete water management, which is a big risk control strategy. Quality installed HVAC. And then we go above and beyond in these yellow areas. And I'll touch on those over the next few slides, starting with that lower HERS value.

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So the way we get to that lower HERS value is really flexible. We don't prescribe to a specific efficiency and specific R-values and those types of things. Rather, we set a target. In this case, the AC efficiency: If we're in climate zone 3 or 4, the target for that is a SEER 15 cooling system. Builders and projects can go above; they can go beyond. As long as the HERS index for their dwelling units end up being at least as good as the target for Zero Energy Ready Home. So it's very performance-based, very flexible.

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Just a few quick examples. A Habitat house in Florida, achieved a HERS 49. And I believe that went several points below where it needed to qualify for the program, but yet they cost-effectively went a little bit further than they had to and achieved a lower HERS score.

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And this house is actually featured on our website on our Tour of Zero homes, which is a showcase of award-winning Zero Energy Ready Homes. And a couple things just to point out here. There's that HERS value of 49. The monthly energy bill in the lower right is $67. And then it's a little small on this slide, but we do a present-value calc of all those energy savings over a 30-year time window, and it adds up to big money. Just for this fairly modest 1,200-square-foot home, energy savings accrued to $28,000.

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This is a project in California, built by Mutual Housing. The dwelling units achieved a HERS score of 21, including the PV, which you can see on the rooftops there.

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And same slides, or same slide format here from the Tour of Zero. A really low $12 average monthly energy bill. And then the accrued savings per dwelling unit stack up to $40,000 over that 30-year time window.

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One last example, switching gears to a cold climate. Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services in New York. A HERS 50 for those attached dwellings.

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And again, 30-year accrued savings close to $25,000 in this case. So again, just to reinforce that low total cost of ownership that's possible with the Zero Energy Ready Home specifications.

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Next, just a few quick words about the enclosure.

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Sam mentioned we want to maintain the value proposition of these homes maintaining their value. They don't have a building envelope that's obsolete within just a year or two of building the project. They're compliant with the next-generation code. Some details here, but I'll just highlight that last bullet that says "Total UA calculation." And for those of you who are not into designing building envelopes, the takeaway here is that, again, we kind of set the performance bar for what the whole building envelope needs to achieve, and then our partners -- architects, builders, developers, and so on -- they have incredible flexibility how they get it there. They can do highly insulated walls and back off on the glazing. They can do vice-versa. They can add more attic insulation. They have all kinds of tradeoff potential, depending on their design preferences, material preferences, and so on. Just a key point there.

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And just window shopping here, in climate zones 2 and 3; that's sort of a warm climate, and climate zone 3 would be a mixed climate like you have through the mid-Atlantic and the lower Southeast. And here are the R-values that are the target. Again, we can trade off and get a little higher; we can be a little lower. But most of our partners say, yea, sure, we can do that. Those are not a big lift for us to get to those levels at all.

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Next just a few quick words on duct location.

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Just a little pop quiz to emphasize why ducts matter and their location matters. So on the left you might have an option for having a very high-efficiency furnace, but sort of a typical duct system with only 60 percent of the energy you put into that duct system getting to the intended outlets. And then on the right a much more run-of-the-mill, lower-efficiency furnace but a pretty good duct system. It's well-insulated; it's well-air-sealed, and it's kept out of steaming-hot attics or other unconditioned spaces. So you can see sort of the outcome of the two different options that you have. If the system on the right is sort of an antiquated furnace, will certainly do better in our projects, and it's a good duct system. You can see the outcome of that is a much better overall system efficiency. So as we look for long-term value, long-term control of the total cost of ownership, the ducts become a pretty big deal. We want to pay attention to where they're going and how they're going to perform for decades to come.

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So we have a whole laundry list of options for our partners to choose from, from keeping ducts either fully in conditioned space or in some optimized location. And I won't go into a lot of details today in the interest of time, but this is sort of a key part of our specs. And again, we give our partners a lot of different options, which tend to work in all types of housing designs: detached, attached, multifamily, and so on.

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The next one to quickly walk through is that Indoor airPLUS package.

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I think the term Sam used a few minutes ago is comprehensive indoor air quality system. That's exactly what these two pieces get us. ENERGY STAR Homes -- we start there. And that gives us a really good foundation. It requires things like whole-dwelling or whole-house mechanical ventilation to bring in some fresh air, dilute pollutants. And then we round it out. We get a complete system for indoor air quality by adding on the provisions of the Indoor airPLUS label and that program. So that gives us things like radon, pest management, low-emission materials, and so on. And two great things about this, really: We didn't have to reinvent this. This is an off-the-shelf set of provisions, which is ready to go. And the second nice thing is it's really well-vetted. This program has been out there for years at this point. There's been all kinds of questions and partner feedback So it's a really well-suited program for single-family and multifamily projects at this point.

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So a couple quick words about the radon. What the program actually requires, is if we're in one of those red counties -- zone 1 for radon -- that the building simply incorporate radon-resisting construction techniques, which, the basics of that are shown here.

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Basically sealing the building envelope from the foundation soil / gas area and then putting in that passive stack so we can allow soil gases to vent out. And then point E there, provide some electric supply in case at some point the fan needs to be installed to make it an active system, which draws air out from the soil / gas area.

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Next is pretty basic stuff. It's just pest management. So we're putting screens over any kind of openings. This is basic code requirements, but the difference here now, it's part of a checklist. We're making sure that it's being done with a third-party verifier. So we have a little more assurance that the building long-term will perform really well in this regard.

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Sam mentioned the proliferation of IR cameras across code inspectors and building inspectors and many other professionals in the industry. I've even seen some pictures like this, where these little tunnels here show rodents tunneling through insulation, degrading it. And if you're really lucky, you might even see the guys in the act there like on the right.

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The next really key component of the indoor air quality piece is low-emission products. And this is dealing with cabinetry and any other pressed wood. It's dealing with carpet, carpet padding. And lastly, it's dealing with paints. And our program and the IP program, again, we don't have to reinvent the wheel. There's a number of third parties that have been at this for a long time. They have third-party labels, certifications, which the industry uses. So we really just have to point to those. And what I show here is a handout available from the Indoor airPLUS program, as well as our program. It's just a little cheatsheet for partners, whether they be specifiers, designers, architects, so on, just tells them what to look for in product specs or what to tell their supplier, so they get the low-formaldehyde cabinets, or they get the low-VOC paints without any difficulties. These products are out there and easier and easier to source them from suppliers.

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Next item, again, is simple code language for CO alarms in bedroom areas. And if we're in the multifamily setting, the Indoor airPLUS program does require a policy to not have smoking in common areas, and keep it away from building entrances, just to maintain a healthy environment in a multifamily setting.

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HVAC, we want to keep it out of the garage. You can see there that there's a -- I think it's a furnace tucked way back there behind all the ductwork.

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To the extent that building cavities are used as ducts -- not a great practice for long-term durability and indoor air quality. You can imagine what's going to happen here long-term with a plumbing pipe running through a return air duct. So that practice is not allowed for indoor air quality.

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We do look for a little higher MERV rating on the filters -- 8 MERV minimum.

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And then lastly, if we're in the more humid regions in the country, basically the Southeast, we look for extra dehumidification, whether the central cooling system has humidity-based controls, or supplemental dehumidification, just to be able to maintain indoor relative humidity levels at reasonable levels, below 60 percent or equal to, so that we can control indoor moisture levels and help mitigate any mold issues that could occur.

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Areas left here, the efficient components.

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Again, the main point is heating and cooling used to be more than half of our overall energy use in a building or a home. And now, as we're doing a better job on those loads, the components and the miscellaneous electrical loads -- it's what MELs is -- they're a bigger slice of a smaller pie. So we want to take a look at those.

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And again, it's pretty easy to get there. We simply look for ENERGY STAR appliances where they're provided by the builder / developer, things like dishwashers, refrigerators, bathroom fans. We look for the lighting to be high-efficiency CFL or LED. And then hot water distribution, we want to take a look at that. Sort of like the ductwork, the way we're moving energy around a building over time, it really matters.

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So we've all lived in a house like this, where it's a long, wide diameter piping system for hot water, and by the time we get hot water out of that furthest fixture, we've used one and a half, two gallons. We've waited a minute, minute and a half, almost two minutes in some cases. So all kinds of energy and water waste in that type of system. So in a single-family setting, hot water systems can only store a half-gallon or less between the hot water source and the furthest fixture.

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If we are in a multifamily setting, as many of the low-income housing tax-credit programs might lead to, we look for the recirculation between dwellings, if it's a central system to be an on-demand system based on the loop temp as well as some indication of demand. And again, happy to follow up with anyone for further details on this.

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It's just sort of the high-level view.

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And then lastly, Sam mentioned making a pathway for homes and buildings to go to zero energy, if that's in the cards in the future. Obviously, many, many buildings have been going this way, as solar prices have fallen, install capacity is really rocketing up.

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So we have a set of PV-ready provisions for homes and buildings. They're encouraged in most -- much of the country, and they're required in the areas of higher solar resources, as you see here. Within our spec there's a website where you plug in a zip code for a given project location, and it'll give you an index of where you fall, where the project falls, on a scale. Five or above is solar-ready provisions are required. Below that level they're encouraged. And we have many projects who incorporate the provisions uniformly regardless, because most of them are no-cost or low-cost provisions.

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There are a few commonsense exceptions, like if we're building next to other very tall buildings or high trees, things of that nature, where we're going to get a lot of shading. Then it's not going to make as much sense to put solar on that building at some point, so those are exceptions, as well. Doesn't mean the project can't be Zero Ready certified, simply that it has the choice of using or not using the PV-ready provisions.

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What the provisions actually look like is shown here. Again, it's just some commonsense items, things like documenting the load ratings on the roof system, so they're in-hand by the building owner or the property owner at some point in the future, so they know the bearing capacity for the roof system. It's things like running a conduit so it's easy to fish wire from the attic area down to the surface panel in the future. Things of that type just to more easily incorporate solar at some point in the future.

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Cost is always a big question.

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We've seen the delta and what it looks like in terms of the specs, in terms of cost. We do point our partners to a savings and cost estimate summary, which compared Zero Ready to two baseline code homes, a '09 and a 2012 code-minimum home. And you can look in there and see how the numbers came out, but it is important to note that in all scenarios that we looked at, the monthly energy savings -- and Sam showed this in an example earlier -- the savings that we get on a monthly basis each and every month, they're going to outweigh the added costs, once it's spread out over a mortgage. So a positive net cash flow on a monthly basis.

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I know we're getting a little short on time here. I have just about five minutes left, if you can bear with us.

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So just some key points for state housing finance agencies considering how they may make use of DOE Zero Ready Home. First point is the specs are really, really well-vetted. I'd say thousands of man-hours not only from DOE but from industry -- builders, developers, architects, engineers -- have all looked at the spec. They kicked the tires. We've heard things that may not quite be suitable; we've adjusted them. And so the end product is that as a spec it's really designed for total lower cost of ownership, for the building. Number 2, we're not reinventing the wheel. In addition to grabbing some off-the-shelf programs like the Indoor airPLUS program, we're also leveraging the whole rating infrastructure that's already out there. The raters that work with ENERGY STAR and some of the green programs -- they would be the same raters that would work with Zero Ready, same rating software, same site-inspection process. So really leveraging what the industry's already been doing to ease the ability for our partners to come on board and become involved. Third point, as I've just mentioned, it's easy for developers and builders to become partners. It's a simple online partner agreement on the website for it. Fourth, we try to make our education materials very targeted, very focused, and it's all available 24/7 as remote learning. Much of it in webinar format like today. Fifth item, there's no registration fee or preregistration of projects to DOE for Zero Energy Ready Home projects. And number 6, it's easy to track projects. Our partners in the very near future will be uploading all their projects to the RESNET buildings registry. DOE on its side taps into that registry and tracks and makes available to the public all the different project activity of our partners. So you can see how a given builder or developer is participating in the program and how many projects they certified and where they're located within the U.S.

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Just a few resources to be available. There's a fact sheet, which is kind of a higher-level, one-pager covering much of the material we've talked about today. We have the energy savings and cost analysis I mentioned. Today's webinar will be available not only for housing finance agencies but for developers, builders, and others that are trying to kick the tires and learn a little bit more about the program. Perhaps they're considering it for use in an upcoming project. We're happy to do targeted webinars for a given state and their partners, if you reach out and let us know. Tour of Zero project examples, I showed you a few of those, multifamily affordable projects. They're all available and for each of those, you can drill a little bit deeper and see a case study. So if you want to learn more about the technologies and the different building strategies that were used, all that's available on the Tour of Zero. And lastly, we have a dedicated resource in the form of Alex Krowka, who is joining us here today, as our liaison to state housing agencies.

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So that just about gets us there. I'll leave this slide up. It shows the website, which is, at you might imagine, sort of the place to become a partner. Review the webinars, review the Tour of Zero and so on. And then I'd also encourage you to take a look and record Alex Krowka's contact info there. He's available to work with state housing agencies and low-income housing partners, really could introduce you to any solutions that would help you learn more about the program. So Alex, do you want to take questions, or just wrap it up in the interest of time?

Alex Krowka:
Yea. Before we lose everyone, let me just do a quick poll, just to see what type of audience we have, and then I will go ahead and read some of the questions off that we've had.

Poll question screen:
So if everyone who's attending could just describe their role in the housing industry, click the correct option, that would be much appreciated. In the meantime, some of the other questions that we've got ... let me pull some of them up here. ... One question regarding moisture control: There are many different housing wraps today for moisture control, and some don't allow the house to breathe. Doesn't the house need to breathe?

Jamie Lyons:
I'll take a shot at that. I guess we need to parse out what we mean by "breathe." Generally, Zero Ready projects will be very well-air-sealed in the same way that Passive House or other efficiency-minded programs would require. So in terms of breathing there, as we talk about air infiltration, we want to seal that off as much as possible. And in return for doing that, as Sam mentioned, we need to have fresh-air exchange in the interest of indoor air quality, so we provide whole-house mechanical ventilation. In terms of breathing with respect to moisture, water vapor in the air, there should be a strategy in place where we know where those predominant sources of moisture vapor are, and we're employing materials and methods to prevent it from finding those cold surfaces, which Sam mentioned. So that's going to vary by --

Sam Rashkin:
The big thing on that, though, is you do want a little bit of vapor open on the house wrap, just so it can dry both directions. And the best expert recommendations will be, look for a house wrap that's about 10 to 20 perms rating in terms of moisture permability for vapor. So if you can get a 10 to 20 perm rating on your house wrap, you're probably going to be OK for drawing to the outside because there will be some occasions where you do need to release some moisture flow in that direction, and it will stop moisture from coming in. There are various performance differences between house wraps. We're not allowed to advocate or promote any specific product, so I would recommend do your research and understand the differences. But all house wraps do a good basic function of keeping water out but allowing vapor flow. And if you want the right sweet spot, look for about 10 to 20 perms rating on the house wrap.

Alex Krowka:
Perfect. Thanks, guys. And then we had another question regarding indoor air quality. Why is there no mention of PM 2.5?

Sam Rashkin:
It's because it's inherently under control through the spec, requires a 8 MERV or higher filter on the inline filter in the HVAC system. That will basically control at least PM 2.5 and the air flow. It also requires that above the cook top or through a down draft that you have spot ventilation cooking, which is the primary source of PM 2.5. So the fact that we have required spot ventilation vis-a-vis ASHRAE 62.2, we have a MERV 8 or higher filter -- normally higher by most examples in the program -- you are addressing as a matter of specification that particular contaminant.

Jamie Lyons:
Just to add on to that, the kitchen ventilation by virtue of ENERGY STAR Homes, part of our program, is required to vent to outdoors. So a lot of multifamily in the past at least is considered recirc for the kitchen ventilation and our program would require that kitchen range exhaust to go to outdoors.

Alex Krowka:
Good question, Renee.

Jamie Lyons:
Alex, how about we let folks go and we can follow up individually as necessary?

Alex Krowka:
Yup, we can do that. Alright --

Sam Rashkin:
Hey, thanks, everyone.

Alex Krowka:
Yup, thank-you, everyone, for joining us. Again, this webinar has been recorded, so we will post the webinar within the next week or two on the DOE resources page. And I will email all the attendees with a reminder, once that has happened. Thank-you so much, everyone, and enjoy the rest of your day.