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Zero Energy Ready Home Program


Building America is a residential construction research program to develop the technologies, practices and systems to build a cost-effective zero energy home by the year 2030. The program is part of the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Program that is focused on improving energy efficiency in all categories of construction. The program involves the DOE's research labs and six research teams composed of builders, manufacturers, building scientists and others who are trialing, testing and reporting on new practices and products to improve the energy efficiency of residential buildings. For more information on this research visit the Building America website.


Building America has issued a challenge to all US builders to build 300,000 energy efficient homes by 2012 drawing upon the research results that it has published.

To qualify for Zero Energy Ready Home Program certification a home must:

  • Be certified under the EPA's ENERGY STAR Version 3 and Indoor airPLUS programs

  • Have a HERS Index below the Zero Energy Ready Home Program Target Index. The Target HERS Index is calculated uniquely for each certified home but will typically be around 55

  • Meet the IECC 2015 insulation requirements

  • Have all duct systems located within the home's thermal and air barrier boundary

  • Have an efficient hot-water distribution system


When a home is certified the builder receives a certificate for the home and the builder is listed on the Zero Energy Ready Home website showing the total number of qualifying homes he has built.

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