Toward an Affordable Zero-Energy Home

September/October 2008
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2008 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 07, 2008
Rural Development, Incorporated (RDI) is recognized nationally as a leader in developing and building sustainable and affordable housing; part of RDI’s mission is to provide efficient, healthy, affordable homes to residents of Franklin County, Massachusetts.  Recently, RDI partnered with DOE’s Building America program and the Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), led by Steven Winter Associates, to achieve even greater levels of home performance.   During the design of a model home in Colrain, Massachusetts, RDI worked closely with CARB and Austin Design to incorporate efficiency and renewable energy systems effectively and affordably.  The 1,350 ft2 home is expected to require 72% less energy to operate than a typical code-compliant home.  The PV system is expected to provide 74% of the home’s electricity needs, and the solar thermal system should provide more than 44% of the space and water heating loads. Design Features RDI included the following features to create an affordable home that is sustainable and energy-efficient. Renewable Energy Features

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