Jun 29, 2021

Case Study: Zero Energy New Build in St. Paul

Project Background 

Energy efficiency was top of mind for Robert Straka as he began designing his new home on Mississippi Boulevard in St. Paul. After carefully considering the environmental impact of his housing wants and needs, Straka set course for Zero Energy Ready certification. Straka hired SALA Architects, Sustainable 9 Design + Build, and CEE’s new homes team to make his vision for a multi-rated energy efficient home a reality.

Many innovative sustainable features were incorporated into the home’s design plans. CEE’s team provided progress inspections and feedback reports to ensure these features matched rating codes and kept the build on track to achieve Zero Energy Ready certification. CEE’s energy raters went above and beyond the usual standard rating process by providing on-going design consultation and energy modeling updates during construction.  

With the help of CEE, Straka’s new home met multiple above- code energy efficiency certifications and won the Sustainable 9 team a Department of Energy (DOE) Housing Innovation Award at the 2020 Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) Summit. 

Case Summary

Energy Efficient Features

  • High performance Tstud™ insulation system
  • Energy efficient appliances and LED lighting
  • PV solar arrays 
  • Drain water heat recovery system 
  • Motion activated hot water recirculation 
  • Geothermal heat pump system for heating and cooling 

Home Certifications, Ratings, and Awards

  • DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Certification
  • -8 HERS Rating
  • Environmental Protection Agency Indoor airPlus Certification 
  • DOE Housing Innovation Award 
  • Xcel Energy Home of the Year 

Housing Specifications and Potential Savings

  • 4,785 square feet
  • $-15 average monthly energy bill
  • $5,900 annual savings
  • $245,700 saved in the first 30 years

CEE’s Services

  • Upfront consultation and design 
  • On-site inspections during framing 
    and insulation
  • Construct reports based on 
  • “Mid-point” blower door test 
  • Final performance testing
  • Energy modeling for rating 
  • Assistance submitting certifications 
    and ratings paperwork