Watershed, a green architecture firm in Fairhope, Alabama, received three national DOE awards for their work on zero energy ready homes in the area.
Watershed was honored with multiple wins at the 2022 Housing Innovation Awards. The firm received Innovation Awards in the Custom Spec and Custom Homes for Buyers (>2,500 square feet) categories. Watershed also received the Grand Winner Award, one of the night’s top honors for the Mobile Bay Inspiration Home. Principal Rebecca Dunn Bryant, AIA received the awards at the EBBA High Performance Home Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The national awards, which are presented in six categories by the Department of Energy (DOE) each year, recognize the country’s leading innovators in zero energy building.
To qualify for the Housing Innovation Awards, homes must be certified as Zero Energy Ready – one of the nation’s most rigorous residential building standards – by a verified third party. Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH) are outfitted with sustainable measures that increase energy efficiency, comfort, health, and durability. According to the DOE, the national Innovation Awards are used to celebrate “the most impressive and advanced homes among leading DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes.”
The WATERSHED projects were also certified FORTIFIED™ Gold for Hurricane and High Wind, and the Inspiration Home included a solar array and battery system that helps the project to achieve its impressive 80% energy use reduction and also provides emergency back up power in case of a power outage.
The energy savings of both projects combined will prevent 10.8 tons of carbon pollution each year, and will save the homeowners an estimated $369,800 over a 30 year period of operation.
Many people do not know that for the first 30 years of operation, the energy used to manufacture and transport the building materials in a home is responsible for more carbon pollution than the energy used to heat, cool, and operate that home.
WATERSHED was able to reduce this “embodied carbon” by using local, recycled, and sustainably manufactured materials to construct the award winning homes.
There are currently only 6 total certified Zero Energy Ready Homes in the state of Alabama.
Watershed is proud to be part of such groundbreaking projects, and to be recognized among such talented industry leaders. As a green architecture firm committed to creating healthy, biophilic buildings and landscapes across coastal Alabama, Watershed continues to focus its efforts on sustainable designs that conserve energy, protect natural resources, and foster a greater connection to the natural world.
Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Housing Innovations Award website to learn more and take the Tour of Zero to see all the winners.