TVA partners to build new energy-efficient homes

From Staff Reports

   Tennessee Valley Authority has announced a joint partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Habitat for Humanity to produce a new generation of energy efficient homes that can be marketed across the Tennessee Valley by the end of the decade.
   The state-of-the-art homes will be built in a housing development in Lenoir City for a "Net Zero Energy Neighborhood."
   TVA Chairman Glenn McCullough Jr. said the TVA Public Power Institute and "energy rightreg." program will partner with ORNL's Building Technology Center over the next three years to design, build, measure and analyze the performance of five houses in the Harmony Heights subdivision in Lenoir City.
   The homes will test and demonstrate innovative technologies such as advanced low-cost zero-power sensors and controls, roofs that change their reflectivity according to the temperature, self-healing caulks and flashings, indoor air quality enhancements and advanced space conditioning and water heating.
   "This project supports TVA's strategic objectives for environmental stewardship and providing affordable, reliable electric power," McCullough said. "It also supports the National Energy Policy by contributing to a cleaner, more efficient and more secure energy future for our nation."
   As the homes are constructed, energy efficiency will progress from a 30 percent savings at the "energy rightreg." Platinum level, to the DOE Building America level of 50 percent energy reduction. The final design will be the advanced Net Zero Energy level with the goal for the building to produce as much energy as it consumes annually.
   McCullough said the "Net Zero Neighborhood" will be a living laboratory for informing builders and homeowners about technologies and construction methods that generate environmental benefits and long-term energy reduction for the region.