Recovery Blog

New Lab for Testing Possibilities of Net-Zero Energy Homes

Posted in Recovery Projects/Awards by Recovery.gov on September 24, 2012

Net-Zero Residence

It looks a lot like many other suburban homes. It’s even located in a popular suburban area – Gaithersburg, Maryland, just north of Washington, D.C. But it’s really a Recovery-funded laboratory, built specifically to allow researchers to test various high-efficiency and alternative energy systems, materials, and designs that would produce all the energy a residential home would need every day.

Officially called the Net-Zero Residential Test Facility, the recently completed lab will be home to researchers from the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. Over the course of a year the researchers, simulating a family of four, will test and demonstrate whether a net-zero energy home can fit in just about any neighborhood.

Approximately $2.5 million of Recovery funds paid for construction of the lab, which includes three types of geothermal systems so they can be evaluated in the same climate and soil types, and multiple ducting systems. Elaborate safety systems are also included, as they would be in any other lab.

The goal is to identify existing and new energy technologies that work best and most affordably in a home-environment.

5 Responses

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  1. Alex Jackson said, on October 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    This technology must be developed sooner rather than later. Geothermal and solar are particularly promising for reducing the carbon footprint worldwide. Not to mention lower the costs of housing for the average buyer.

  2. Tim Thompson said, on November 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    It’s a normal looking house. I’m curious to see how all that lab stuff fits inside without making the rooms small. Geothermal systems does not sound very consumer friendly from a cost standpoint however.

  3. Peter said, on December 24, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Unlike solar, geothermal is promising in all kind of locations around the world. It can make the difference for the carbon footprint worldwide.

  4. Jim said, on January 18, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Are there any plans to show the inside of the house? I’m very interested in seeing this, thanks!

  5. Sidler said, on February 20, 2013 at 4:28 am

    Honestly speaking, It doesn’t look like a laboratory to me. It looks like just a normal house to me. I’m wondering how the laboratory equipment fit inside that house. I’m very much interested to see the inside of that house. Thank you for this post!


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