WSU Collaborates on Net-Zero House for Parade of Homes
OGDEN, Utah – A unique partnership among Weber State University, Habitat for Humanity of Weber and Davis Counties, Dominion Energy, Rocky Mountain Power, Davis Technical College and Ogden-Weber Technical College will result in the first affordable net-zero home to be featured in the Northern Wasatch Parade of Homes July 5-20.
Ultimately, the 2,000 square-foot house will belong to a mother and six children, who lost their home to the tornado that hit Ogden in 2016. Since losing their home, the family has been separated; some of the children have stayed with relatives. The home, located at 450 15th Street in Ogden, will allow the family to reunite and live together under one roof.
The project will be part of Rocky Mountain Power’s subscriber solar program, in which participants purchase solar panels that are installed off-site throughout Utah. Participation in the subscriber solar program helps the project achieve net-zero energy.
The home will use an innovative gas boiler that simultaneously heats the house and hot water with electric heat pump technology for cooling. The house demonstrates the ways in which existing homes can be retrofitted to achieve net-zero energy.
“This project shows that you can build net-zero homes on par with traditional construction costs,” said Chris Blackham, WSU student. “It’s significant to try to change the thoughts people have about solar and net-zero.”
Weber State partnered with Davis Technical College and Ogden-Weber Technical College to build the home. Students in the plumbing apprenticeship program at Davis Tech worked on all of the house’s plumbing. Students in Ogden-Weber Tech’s Youth Build program helped with construction.
The house will be the first of its kind featured in the Northern Wasatch Parade of Homes, which has wanted to showcase affordable housing and net-zero housing. This house will check both boxes.
Weber State is a partner with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for those who are in need. The houses are designed by WSU students, under specifications provided by Habitat for Humanity.
“It’s true community-engaged learning,” said Jeremy Farner, WSU building design & construction associate professor. “Students work on the homes while studying various aspects of design. For example, they work on framing while studying framing. All of the experience leads to a rich learning opportunity for the students.”
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