A group of Purdue University researchers, in conjunction with appliance manufacturing giant Whirlpool Corp., are taking up a three-year challenge transforming a 1920s home in West Lafayette, Ind., into an ultra energy-efficient, net-zero residence. The house will be retrofitted to generate as much energy as it consumes over a year.
It’s no easy feat, considering the structure was built nearly a century ago. The home — known as the Retrofitted Net-Zero Energy, Water and Waste, or ReNEWW, house — will have a team of faculty and students from the Purdue Mechanical Engineering department closely looking for new ways to conserve energy and water sources to ensure the home doesn’t take more than what it gives.
The house will harvest several sources, like waste heat from appliances, “gray water” from showers and sinks and power from the sun through solar panels. Also, through the partnership with Whirlpool, Purdue students and faculty will test the next generation of super-efficient home appliance.