Researchers will use the house to test energy-efficiency technologies and alternative energy systems. NIST Director Patrick Gallagher believes that the facility will “allow development of new design standards and test methods for emerging energy-efficient technologies and, we hope, speed their adoption.”
Up to now, some net-zero homes have tended to skimp on size and amenities. But the NIST test facility is designed as a full-size 4,000-square-foot suburban home with four bedrooms and three baths. The building incorporates a highly-efficient building envelope, solar thermal water heating, photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, geothermal energy, smart metering, and specially-designed energy-efficient space conditioning and air distribution systems. The house is built to LEED Platinum standards.