greeNEWit Helps to Create a Net Zero Energy Home in Maryland

November 13, 2015 Written by  Comments Print
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When a small municipality in Maryland decides to think outside of the plain old box and creates a challenge to make extraordinary housing a reality for their community, you know great things are going to happen! Things like one of the first single-family zero net energy houses in Prince George’s County, Maryland that is actually affordable, traditional in style, and infuses sustainability into all nooks and crannies of the building and the lives of its occupants.

Front and back elevation of Net Zero Energy Home

Last Friday, the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County (RDA), along with its partners Urban Green, LLC, Monument Bank, and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development broke ground for the County’s newest net zero energy (NZE) house in Mt. Rainier, Maryland. This single family home will produce as much energy on an annual basis as it consumes, saving the homeowners approximately $4000 in utility bills per year.

Ground breaking at Net Zero Energy House 

Earlier this year, greeNEWit was invited by the developer, Urban Green, to provide energy efficiency advice and verify the projected energy consumption of the house. Together with an extremely talented team of sustainability professionals, we evaluated how modifications to the building plans would affect the ability of the 6.5 kW solar array to completely offset the energy consumption. We considered using gas vs. electric water heaters, tried to eliminate as many windows as possible, and decided on the addition of a garage to house additional solar panels and storage space. After weeks of testing ideas on the computer model, we finally achieved a projected HERS rating of zero with a design that meets all code, and comfort requirements as well as LEED Platinum standard!

greeNEWit Net Zero Energy Home MD

The two story NZE single-family house includes 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms with a total of 1,826 sq ft of living space, with the 1st floor being completely handicapped accessible. Some other features of the property will include the following:

  • Super insulated thermal envelope using closed foam and levels of R-60 insulation in ceiling and R-32 in walls (more than twice as much as standard building practices)

  • Ductless electric mini-split heating and cooling system

  • Heat pump water heater that extracts heat from the surrounding air to create hot water

  • Environmentally friendly building materials such as No-VOC paints, no tropical wood, and formaldehyde free cabinets

  • Advanced stormwater management systems to reduce runoff by using porous materials for the driveway and a rainwater harvesting system

Floor plans Net Zero Energy Home

By sponsoring this net zero energy project, Mt. Rainier, Maryland once again proves itself to be a leader in sustainability efforts in Prince George’s County and the region. Mt. Rainier has already installed solar panels at town hall; porous pavers to reduce stormwater runoff in its municipal parking lot; and its first green roof on a partnership development with Housing Initiative Partnership.

“The NetZero technology helps to solidify Mount Rainier as a sustainable community and builds upon the City reducing their carbon footprint along with lower energy bills for our residents,” said Mt. Rainier Mayor Malinda Miles.

mayor approval net zero energy home


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch about energy efficiency and the net zero trajectory for your home and the other buildings in our community. As we like to say, powerful people deserve powerful homes!

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