Net Zero Design Studied In Lab Home

How would you like to “eradicate” your monthly energy bills? The Best Practices Research Alliance (BPRA) claims that its new Lab Home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania–built by  S&A Homes in partnership with IBACOS, a Pittsburgh-based building sciences consulting firm–is paving the way towards just that.

Over the next three years, this four-bedroom home is expected to serve as a life-sized laboratory where experts can monitor different types of HVAC systems and green building practices. The ultimate goal here is to build a best-practices protocol for family-friendly homes that blend into your typical neighborhood but stand out in terms of energy usage and eco-friendliness.

Net Zero Home

image via S&A Homes

Green features of the new BPRA Lab Home include a horizontal loop ground source geothermal heat pump system, as well as a solar array that will provide for 100% of the home’s power during the sunny summer months. The home is expected to have ample protection against the Northeastern winters with its 8″ thick exterior walls, built from staggered 2x4s and filled with R-40 insulation.

As far as energy bills go, the renewable energy credits gained from running the home on solar during the summer are expected to cover the costs of the home’s energy bills during the winter, equally out, essentially, to zero energy used.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.