Data-Driven Home Aims to Test Which Green Features Work

This rendering shows the front elevation of the Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility being built at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Gaithersburg, Md., campus.

The 2,700-square-foot two-story structure is being built with the latest green and energy-efficiency strategies. Note the detached garage that will result in better indoor air quality.

During construction, workers installed tubes in the basement slab for in-floor radiant heating.

Extruded polystyrene insulation provides a thermal break between floor trusses and poured concrete basement walls.

Workers installed a "slinky" earth heat exchanger in one of three identical trenches on the south side of the facility for the geothermal system.

The north and west sides of the facility with the exterior air/moisture barrier in place. The window openings are sealed with foil-faced insulation to facilitate air leakage.

The home features two layers of 2-inch-thick insulation installed on the exterior.

Seen from the rear, the home is completely framed and sheathed.

Located in many areas of the home, motorized dampers will be computer-controlled to adjust the air flow in individual supply ducts to the various conditioned spaces within the home.

Vertical wooden slats attached to the exterior of the house will create an air space between the side wall and fiber cement siding.

The first-floor plan.

The second-floor plan.

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