Healthy Indoor Air Quality in an All-Electric Family Home

Healthy Indoor Air Quality in an All-Electric Family Home

During the renovation process of their all-electric home, Maureen Mahle and Steve Klocke researched the health impacts of cooking with gas in the house. Some of the common health risks include asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses.  

Maintaining healthy indoor air quality is critical for Maureen and Steve right now because they have a toddler in the house.  

[Babies] breathe so much faster. They take in so much more as a percentage of their body weight than we do. They’re much more impacted by all of those potential pollutants, said Maureen Mahle, Managing Director of Residential Building Services at Steven Winter Associates, Inc. 

The homeowners decided to install an induction cooktop in their all-electric renovated home and are already seeing the benefits.  

My kid likes pasta. The fact that he can pitch a fit and insist on pasta and I can have that pot boiling in 60 seconds is pretty great, said Maureen. 


Maureen Mahle and Steve Klocke are Steven Winter Associates, Inc. employees. This is a Steven Winter Associates, Inc. Project. 

Register for EEBA’s webinar with Maureen and Steve to learn more about their all-electric home renovation.  

Check out the EEBA Academy to take accredited courses on healthy IAQ and many more valuable topics! 

Mitsubishi Electric Heating and Air-Conditioning System Provides Comfort and Energy Efficiency in the Taylor High-Performance Home

Mitsubishi Electric Heating and Air-Conditioning System Provides Comfort and Energy Efficiency in the Taylor High-Performance Home

Located in Austin, Texas, the Taylor High-Performance Home utilizes a Mitsubishi Electric heating and air-conditioning system to maximize comfort and energy efficiency. The Taylor family looked for a system that was flexible and could accommodate their varying needs. A key component of the high-performance heating and cooling system is its ability to use only the precise amount of energy required to meet set point temperature.

Not only does the Mitsubishi Electric system fit the Taylor family’s performance requirements, but it’s also ideal for the home’s structural space. Without an attic, proper air circulation was a primary consideration for the homeowners and builders.

“Air distribution is always the biggest challenge because we need to get large volume air out from these units to the desired locations,” said Tom Sullivan, an associate of CleanTag LLC, a local builder that specializes in building high-end residences.

The Taylor High-Performance Home received AIA’s 2019 Design of Excellence Award.

“Mitsubishi Electric has super-efficient systems,” said contractor Ignacio Moreno, owner, New Results Heating and Cooling. “This is a comfort solution for the homeowners.”

Learn more about the Taylor High-Performance Home here. Check out Mitsubishi Electric’s website for more information about energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning systems.

Sponsoring Team Zero Is Good Business

Sponsoring Team Zero Is Good Business

A report by Navigant Research shows that worldwide revenue from Zero Energy Buildings is expected to more than $1.4 trillion in 2035, most being in the US and Europe. This trend is also reflected in  TEAM ZERO’S current Inventory of Zero Energy Homes findings which shows robust North American pipeline activity.

If you have a zero-energy product or service,  are you marketing yourself as a leader of this emerging megatrend? For example, do you talk to builders and homeowners about zero? Do you know who and where these builders and homebuyers are? If not, what if you could target zero-energy builders and the consumers likely to buy zero homes all at once?

Why Become a TEAM ZERO Sponsor?

Because by  JOINING TEAM ZERO ‘s 2021 campaign as a sponsor,  we connect you with the builders and consumers looking to get on the path to zero. Our campaign is shared between three powerful nonprofits: The Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA), TEAM ZERO, aka (The Net Zero Energy Coalition) and All of these have loyal  followers, all interested in high-performance  and zero-energy homes.

Team Zero, EEBA and join forces to increase demand for zero
Team Zero, EEBA and join forces to increase demand for zero

Together we are growing the zero-energy home market.

Free Zero Energy Online Tools including the Find a Zero Energy Pro Directory, the Find A Zero Energy Product, the Gateway to Zero, and the Zero Energy Homes Database Inventory.


Team Zero's online tools include Zero Energy Pro and Product Directories, Zero Energy Home Inventory and Gateway to Zero
Team Zero’s online tools include Zero Energy Pro and Product Directories, Zero Energy Home Inventory and Gateway to Zero

In addition to being listed in the Directories, sponsor’s products are also highlighted in Team Zero social media.

EEBA sponsorships can also be added for maximum impact.  We look forward to hearing back from you as we travel the road to zero together.

Call Anytime to Discuss,

Mary MacLeod-Jones 

EEBA-TEAM ZERO, Director of Development

(207) 712-5606

Zero Energy Ready Homes: What Does It Mean to Be “Future Ready”?

Zero Energy Ready Homes: What Does It Mean to Be “Future Ready”?

When you’re searching for a home, new doesn’t always mean new – even when you’re buying a home that was just built. Some new homes feature more energy efficient appliances and components than others, so how can potential homebuyers ensure they’re getting the latest and greatest offerings in building energy performance that new homes can provide today?

The answer is Zero Energy Ready Homes. That’s because a Zero Energy Ready Home must meet multiple layers of requirements, related not only to energy performance, but also indoor air quality and building construction. Watch this video to learn more about what a Zero Energy Ready Home can do for you.

An aerial view of the U.S. DOE 2020 Zero Energy Ready Home Housing Innovation Award winning home “La Pedrera Net Zero Residence” by Bellingham Bay Builders in Friday Harbor, WA. This home features a high-performance insulation system and advanced energy-efficient appliances and lighting systems that keep its entire monthly energy bill around $30, saving these homeowners about $2,000 every year compared to the energy performance of more typical newly built home.

A DOE Zero Energy Ready Home meets all the criteria found in the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home National Program Requirements. DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes are verified by a qualified third-party and are at least 40-50% more energy efficient than a typical new home. This generally corresponds to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score in the low to mid-50s, depending on the home’s size and climate zone.

Buyers who choose a Zero Energy Ready Home know that their new home not only includes highly energy-efficient technologies and systems, but also incorporates best construction practices, and is certified by three independent programs.

Innovation #1: Maximum Protection Construction, featuring industry-leading best practices for wall, roof, and foundation assemblies:

  • Above-code insulation provides a thick thermal blanket for a cozy interior year-round.
  • Comprehensive draft sealing blocks dust, moisture, pollen, and pests from getting through thousands of feet of cracks and dozens of penetrations commonly found in home construction.
  • Advanced window technology minimizes heat loss in the winter and unwanted heat gain in the summer to help ensure comfort, quiet, and low utility bills.
  • Top-to-bottom moisture barrier effectively drains water from roofs, walls, and foundations so it can’t find its way inside where it can cause dry rot, mold, and odor problems.

Innovation #2: Advanced Technology throughout each home that works and lasts better:

  • High-performance heating and cooling provides total comfort with expertly installed and sized systems to industry best practices.
  • High-efficiency ENERGY STAR appliances, lighting, and fans save money with rigorous requirements for meeting and exceeding performance expectations.
  • Solar-ready construction allows homes without solar panels to add them in the future with minimal disruption and thousands of dollars in savings.

Innovation #3: Certified Performance independently verified for three high-performance programs:

  • ENERGY STAR-Certified Home ensures a strong foundation of above-code efficiency and performance measures.
  • Indoor airPlus certification ensures a comprehensive package of indoor air quality measures that can help protect the health of each household.
  • Zero Energy Ready Home certification further optimizes performance and efficiency so all or most annual energy consumption can be offset with renewable energy.

If you are a homebuyer, you want all these innovations. Their value is timeless: you’ll live better, and your utility savings can add up to tens of thousands of dollars over a 30-year mortgage.

A view from the La Pedrera Net Zero Residence’s living room. You can take a virtual tour of this award-winning home and others that DOE has recognized with its annual Housing Innovation Awards in the DOE Tour of Zero.

During this year’s Net Zero Buildings Week, the Buildings Technologies Office is recognizing the growing demand for net zero technologies and practices by highlighting the work that DOE and its partners are doing to achieve a more energy efficient future.


Learn more about DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home program here.

Full Gut Rehabilitation for a 1924 Colonial Home

Full Gut Rehabilitation for a 1924 Colonial Home

This 1924 Colonial Home in Norwalk, CT was in a state of complete disrepair before homeowners Maureen Mahle and Steve Klocke began a total gut rehabilitation of the house. They initiated the renovation process after the home was stripped down to its foundation, framing, and floors.  

Over the course of a year, Maureen and Steve renovated the home with features such as updated insulation, heat pumpsand an efficient air sealing system. They wanted to produce as much of their own operating electricity as possible to achieve a net zero home.  

Maureen and Steve also took aesthetics, decarbonization, and indoor air quality into consideration during their all-electric renovation.

Maureen Mahle and Steve Klocke are Steven Winter Associates, Inc. employees. This is a Steven Winter Associates, Inc. project. 

All-Electric Home in Connecticut Shows Resiliency During Tropical Storm

All-Electric Home in Connecticut Shows Resiliency During Tropical Storm

Last year, homeowners Maureen Mahle and Steve Klocke completely renovated 1924 Colonial home in South Norwalk, CT. Maureen and Steve implemented photovoltaics and battery storage in their all-electric home to maximize energy efficiency

In August 2020, Hurricane Isaias caused severe damage across the East Coast of the U.S. In Norwalk, CT, communities experienced vast electricity outages caused by collapsed trees and damaged power lines. 

With their all-electric energy system and backup batteries, Maureen and Steve were protected from the tropical storm. Maureen and Steve have a young toddler and particularly value the safety their energy system provides. 

Maureen Mahle and Steve Klocke are Steven Winter Associates, Inc. employees. This is a Steven Winter Associates, Inc. project.

How to Achieve Energy Efficiency and Affordability in Zero Energy Homes

How to Achieve Energy Efficiency and Affordability in Zero Energy Homes

*Adapted from: Zero Energy Project

Extremely Energy Efficient Homes

Here’s how you can start building and designing affordable Zero Energy homes while maximizing energy efficiency. These tips will help you utilize commonly available building materials and equipment along with easy-to-learn building strategies. By following these steps, you can build a new home that is affordable to build and costs less to own.

1. Start with Smart Design

Cost-effective zero net energy homes begin with smart design. Designers and architects, as well as builders, and homebuyers, should be familiar with all the energy efficiency steps involved in building a net zero home. And the home should be designed so that builders and subcontractors can implement these steps as cost-effectively as possible. There are several design parameters to which builders should ask designers to pay special attention. Detailed communication between the builder and designer will ensure that these critical details don’t fall through the cracks.

2. Use the Sun for Renewable Energy

Grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) panels currently provide the most cost-effective form of renewable energy for a zero energy home. They can power all the energy needs of a home including lighting, heating and cooling systems, appliances and hot water. However, they are the most expensive component of a zero energy home and strategies for reducing or mitigating those costs are important to consider.

3. Select Energy Efficient Appliances and Electronics

Since zero energy homes have highly energy efficient building shells and use high efficiency HVAC and water heating equipment, a new category, appliances and electronics, becomes the most  significant source of energy expenditure in zero energy homes. As a result, selecting high efficiency appliances and electronics becomes the final step needed to minimize home energy use

4. Super-Seal the Building Envelope

Super-sealing the building envelope is the single most cost-effective measure builders can take to improve the energy efficiency of a zero energy home. Several proven, air-sealing approaches are available. Choose an approach that matches your climate, skills and budget.

5. Use Highly Insulated Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are like big energy holes in a well insulated, airtight building envelope and are the third most cost-effective opportunity for making a home energy efficient. Control window and door heat loss and gain by selecting appropriate window and door products, carefully locating them, and optimizing their size and orientation.

6. Create an Energy Efficient, Fresh Air Supply

Since zero energy homes are so airtight, a continuous source of fresh filtered air and moisture control are critical to its success. This need for ventilation has a silver lining: zero energy homes are healthier and more comfortable than standard homes. Highly energy efficient ventilation systems, known as heat recovery ventilation (HRV) systems or energy recovery ventilation (ERV) systems expel stale air while recovering its heat and returning that same heat to the home.


Learn more at Zero Energy Project.

Team Zero is partnered with Zero Energy Project and the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA).

With Electric Cars Rolling, Washington Should Now Turn to Electric Homes

With Electric Cars Rolling, Washington Should Now Turn to Electric Homes

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama set a goal for the United States to become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road, pledging a historic $2.4 billion in federal grants to make it happen. Flash forward to today: Tesla is the most valuable carmaker in the world, and America has at least 1.5 million plug-in vehicles on the road.

The federal government clearly has the power to advance sustainable technologies. So where should President Joe Biden look next for a cleaner, healthier future? To where Americans spend most of their lives: the home.

American homes have always been monsters of energy consumption, typically accounting for 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. But the situation has grown more dire during the pandemic: Americans spent about an extra $6 billion on at-home power consumption from April to July 2020. Demand for home buying and new construction has skyrocketed, suggesting that current trends in home energy use will continue as working from home becomes a new normal for millions.

This should be troubling to sustainability advocates. While the commercial real estate and auto industries have undergone green revolutions over the past decade, residential real estate has not. Fossil fuels such as natural gas, propane and fuel oil continue to be mainstays of American homes, while an outdated patchwork of state and federal policies — protected by lobbying from established industry giants — is preventing the widespread adoption of new practices.

But there is good news. An abundance of renewable energy technologies and construction techniques are available and ready to go mainstream. Zero energy homebuilders are plentiful, and consumer demand for greener dwellings is on the rise. Without a doubt, the Tesla of homebuilding is out there, waiting for its breakout moment.

The Biden administration and Congress can usher that moment in — and they must if they intend to meet the emissions reduction targets laid out by the Paris Accord. Decarbonizing the electric grid will not be enough to reduce home emissions. More houses must be built or retrofitted with heat pumps, induction cooktops, fresh air ventilation and insulation, as well as rooftop solar panels, on-site battery storage and more.

This requires accelerating existing federal programs, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor airPLUS Program and the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Homes Program. These agencies were largely forgotten during the Trump administration. Now is our chance to maximize their impact.

Federal grants are also in order, like those Obama adopted for electric vehicles. The Biden Administration can ramp up investment in the Energy Department’s Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs, which help subsidize certain energy-efficient retrofits — like upgrading an old furnace in an office building. These PACE grants should be expanded and made available for new residential construction. Meanwhile, Congress should consider new tax incentives and subsidies for high-performance technologies for home building and renovation.

As we learned from the electric car revolution, federal action can produce a ripple effect of state-level reforms. This is key for residential home construction, given the central role that state and local building codes play in promoting adoption of new standards. Biden can be a trendsetter for the green home revolution across every level of government, which would also stimulate consumer demand.

Greener homes would pay dividends not only to the environment, but also to economic equality. The ongoing spike in demand for housing is driving prices up, making homeownership financially untenable for many young and disadvantaged Americans. High-performance homes can lower the total cost of homeownership. New tax incentives, subsidies and grants for electric homes could further increase affordability and opportunity.

Economic growth would also receive a boost, as consumers with lower utility bills have more cash to spend at businesses. Perhaps best of all, high-performance homes will improve public health by reducing air pollution and enabling cleaner air in our homes, neighborhoods and communities. In the midst of a global pandemic, and with air pollution killing 7 million people a year worldwide, these benefits speak for themselves.

Here’s the bottom line: How we build our homes is how we build our future. Biden has a golden opportunity to be for green homes what his former boss was for green vehicles — a harbinger of the next revolution. This is not only an opportunity; it is an obligation. Home energy use is rising, housing demand is growing, public health challenges are surging and the political stars have suddenly aligned in Washington. The moment has arrived, so let the electric home transformation begin.


Aaron Smith is the CEO of the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance, which represents over 50,000 environmentally conscious builders across North America.

“Walk the Wok” in the Year of the Ox: An “Electric” Chinese New Year Cooking and Ventilation Celebration

“Walk the Wok” in the Year of the Ox: An “Electric” Chinese New Year Cooking and Ventilation Celebration

This Chinese New Year, Chef Rachelle Boucher of Kitchens to Life shared her tips and tricks for using induction cooking to make traditional Chinese holiday dishes. Boucher has worked with So Fun, a chef who specializes in various Chinese cuisines, to adapt these authentic recipes for induction cooking and ventilation. 

In the Electric Kitchen Workshop, Chef Boucher uses the Elica NikolaTesla Switch cooktop and the Elica Haiku hood for her induction cooking and ventilation demonstration. While the chef prepares a Chinese New Year fish recipe using a wok on her stovetop, Brady Seals from RMI explains some of the health impacts of gas cooking. 

Seals is a Manager in RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings program. Last year, she researched the health impacts of cooking with gas. She notes that 1 in 3 households cook with gas, while 1 in 4 homes are all electric.  

“We know that for the climate and increasingly, for health, we have to find new ways to use energy that are renewable and clean,” said Seals. 

Alex Siow, founder of Zephyr Ventilations, has been working with ventilators and electric systems both nationally and globally. At Zephyr, Siow worked with his team to build hundreds of ventilation products, focusing on air quality in residential kitchens. He explains that large ventilators have become more popular over the years. However, while they can be effective, large ventilators have significant drawbacks. 

“The byproducts are noise and energy consumption,” Siow said. “A lot of the time, you also have this big, bulky, restaurantlooking hood.”  

Another factor in the global scope of using gas cooking is the discrepancies in resources available to communities of different income levels. Brady Seals explains that lowincome communities are more susceptible to the negative effects of gas cooking due to the prevalence of smaller housing units and higher numbers of occupants.  

“The more people who want to learn about this issue and want induction cooking is great,” Seals said, “but we also need policymakers to incentivize it for those who are feeling the effects of climate change emissions already in and around their homes.” 

San Francisco recently instituted a policy that prohibits all new building constructions from using gas cooking appliances. 

“We are helping to raise awareness. This isn’t the electric stove of twenty years ago,” Alex Siow said. 


Learn more about induction cooking and ventilation by watching this webinar at EEBA’s Learning Center here. 

TEAM ZERO Inventory Shows Robust Growth and Pipeline in Zero Energy Housing Market

TEAM ZERO Inventory Shows Robust Growth and Pipeline in Zero Energy Housing Market

The residential Zero Energy (ZE) market continues to grow across the United States and Canada, according to the TEAM ZERO 2019-2020 Zero Energy Residential Buildings Inventory. The study, which shows significant increases in multifamily units and overall energy performance, was released by TEAM ZERO, in cooperation with the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA).

The new report documents an increase in total Zero Energy projects to 27,965 units from the previous 22,146 units in 2018. These single and multifamily units are working to achieve Zero Energy performance in design, construction, and/or operation.

In this survey, TEAM ZERO uses six years of inventory collection to discuss the development of ZE homes with different climates, energy sources, and project scopes. The survey provides findings on Zero Energy residential design and construction activity, including developments in the process of achieving Zero Energy. ZE buildings aim to produce the same amount of renewable energy as they consume through high levels of energy efficiency.

“The almost 28,000 projects provide a proven template for the success of high-performance technologies and building innovations being successfully adopted today,” said Aaron Smith, CEO of EEBA and Board Treasurer of Team Zero.

Additional findings include:

Multifamily projects comprise 75% of the total ZE residential inventory. In the US, multifamily units make up 73% of the country’s ZE stock, a notable increase from 67% in 2018. Canada maintained its 90% share of multi-family projects in its total ZE inventory.

Findings show a significant rise in overall energy performance. The ZE category grew by more than one-third over the past year from 29% of units to 38.6%, the majority of which are ZE-ready.

In 2019-2020, California grew its lead in the number of ZE projects (10,959 units) and Colorado increased its ranking from 7th to 5th place (1,311 units).

For the first time, TEAM ZERO’s inventory report incorporates data related to fuel types, energy system analysis and “Off-Grid” homes.


In 2020, TEAM ZERO, formerly the Net Zero Energy Coalition, joined forces with the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) with the shared goal of sustainable market transformation towards a Zero Energy future.

For over 35 years, EEBA has provided the most trusted resources for building science information and education in the construction industry.

Read about the EEBA TEAM ZERO alliance here.

To learn more about memberships, donations, and sponsorships, visit TEAM ZERO and EEBA.