Design Goals

Design Goals and Project Context

The Zero Energy Ready Home level of performance will not achieve meaningful market acceptance unless it is integrated with architectural designs that meet or exceed consumer expectations. Teams need to describe the general approach to the overall project and house to integrate high-performance home building science principles while incorporating each element for the project. This includes describing design concepts such as home fit to site, natural comfort (e.g., solar orientation, solar shading, thermal mass, natural shading, natural ventilation), convenient placement of rooms, open floor plan, minimal wasted space, minimal circulation, varied ceiling height, integration of major systems (e.g., structural, HVAC, plumbing, lighting, furniture placement, storage, disaster resistance), and linkage to outdoors.

Teams have to provide an overview of how a building systems-approach informs the design to meet sustainability goals, ENERGY STAR, and DOE Zero Energy Ready Home goals. They need to describe the integrated design process and how the Quality Management Provisions (QM #2) may be incorporated into the high-performance home design process and documentation.

They will also have to include descriptions of how the team’s design approach was influenced by other national, regional, and local programs. To the extent they are available for the selected site, they should consider the project’s economic impacts and enhancements from utility incentive programs, tax credits, and other rebates.


National Building Museum, Principles of Sustainable Design:

DOE Zero Energy Ready Home:

DOE Guidelines for Participating in the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home:

ENERGY STAR Energy Efficient New Homes:

DOE Challenge Home Recommended Quality Management Provisions: provisions032812.pdf

AIA Ecological Literacy in Architecture Education Report and Proposal: