Pulte Homes, the third largest home builder in the country, has completed construction of its zero net energy (ZNE) home prototype in Northern California. The new home, which is designed to minimize its environmental impact by generating as much energy as it uses, will be monitored for 12 months to evaluate its performance and identify opportunities for future enhancements.

The home's design combines airtight building methods, highly efficient insulation, HVAC, lighting technologies and more, with on-site solar energy production to offset the home's greatly reduced energy consumption, says the company. The prototype, located in the Botanica by Pulte Homes neighborhood in Brentwood, Calif., will allow Pulte and its partners to measure and analyze the home's energy performance, actual cost savings and the impact on the energy grid.

"Overall energy performance and consumption will be evaluated to assess construction technology and help guide best practices for the company in building more energy efficient homes," said Steve Kalmbach, president of KB's Northern California division. "Not only will the prototype seek improvements through energy use tracking and analysis, but Pulte is also seeking consumer feedback to develop design improvements to meet future home buyer needs."

Check out a video of the project here.

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