Whirlpool Corporation and Purdue University team up on retrofit project for sustainable living.
In 2014, Whirlpool Corporation partnered with Purdue University in a three-year retrofit project aimed to achieve net-zero energy by transforming a home built in the 1920s into a living, breathing sustainable showcase. The ReNEWW House — Retrofitted Net-Zero Energy, Water and Waste project — is an example of what collaboration, public and private partnering, and an open learning space can do for sustainability. The project has drawn a lot of attention and continues to offer continuous learning for engineers, contractors, homeowners and green energy admirers alike.
The ReNEWW House, located near Purdue’s campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, was chosen partly because it serves as a microcosm of one of the most pervasive problems in the U.S.’s housing sector.
“We wanted a retrofit to address the 100 to one problem. There’s 100 million existing homes versus one million new homes,” says Ronald Voglewede, Global Sustainability director, Whirlpool Corporation. “We asked: how can people get efficiency into homes today and not wait 100 years to let the existing housing stock turn over?”
The answer is in collaboration
The ReNEWW project researchers’ short answer to this needed solution is to allow innovation, complexity and collaboration into the equation.