ReNEWW House

Retrofit Net Zero: Energy. Water. Waste.

Whirlpool Corporation, along with Purdue University, has transformed an existing home near Purdue’s campus into a world class research laboratory and sustainable living showcase. ReNEWW stands for Retrofitted Net-zero Energy, Water & Waste and represents the aspirational vision for the project: to convert a home, originally built in 1928, to offset all its energy use with solar power, to only rely on locally available water sources, and to have waste handling systems in place that prevent any household waste from going to the landfill. ReNEWW House is providing valuable insights for our homebuilder collaborators and customers on technologies that enable sustainable living. We leverage the world class facilities and collaborate with Purdue researchers to accelerate the development of the next generation of ultra-high efficiency appliances that increase core performance while lowering their impact on the environment and cost to operate.

ReNEWW House 7

ReNEWW House in the News

Whirlpool Corporation Named a 2023 Top Company for Executive Women by Seramount

Whirlpool Corporation was recently named to the 2023 Seramount Top Companies for Executive Women list. The award recognizes the company for its inclusive hiring practices and significant progress in culture and commitment. Seramount’s list identifies the top...

Whirlpool Corporation Named One of the World’s Best Companies for 2023 by TIME

Whirlpool Corporation announced today that it has been recognized as one of the World's Best Companies for 2023 by TIME magazine. To create the list, TIME partnered with Statista, a leading provider of market and consumer data, to conduct a comprehensive research...

Buildbetter with Whirlpool Helps Family Find Safety and Stability in a new Habitat Home

Onisha and her sons, 14-year-old Jasaun and 9-year-old Zykail, used to rent an apartment in a neighborhood where she didn’t feel safe. After years of overpriced rent payments and being unable to purchase a home on the open market, Onisha says becoming a part of...

Whirlpool Corporation Named One of the World’s Most Trustworthy Companies for 2023 by Newsweek

Whirlpool Corporation announced today that it has been recognized as one of the World’s Most Trustworthy Companies in 2023 by Newsweek. To create the list, Newsweek partnered with Statista, a leading provider of market and consumer data, to evaluate companies’...

Fueling Innovation Through The Whirlpool Corporation Global Innovation Challenge

Innovation for Whirlpool Corporation started on Day 1 - in 1911, on the shore of southwest Michigan, with the invention of the first electric wringer washer. As Whirlpool Corporation’s vision of improving life at home has become more global, so has the company’s...

Creating a Distinctive Work Environment in Southwest Michigan

Whirlpool Corporation has called Southwest Michigan its home for 112 years. Working in southwest Michigan offers a unique blend of rural charm and urban opportunities, creating a distinctive work environment. The region's landscape is characterized by lush vineyards,...

Family Secures New Sustainable Home with Lower Energy Bills Through Habitat for Humanity’s BuildBetter with Whirlpool Initiative

Before applying for homeownership through Habitat for Humanity’s BuildBetter with Whirlpool program, Eligio and his wife, Liliana, feared that they would be priced out of the market to own a home. The family’s rent steadily increased on the cramped apartment where...

Whirlpool Corporation Joins NOAR and the City of Benton Harbor for June Woods Park Dedication Event

Whirlpool Corporation, Neighbors Organizing Against Racism (NOAR) and The City of Benton Harbor returned to Broadway Park, where the Whirlpool Day of Impact 2023 took place a few months back, to honor June Woods, a former slave who came to Benton Harbor in 1870. The...

Whirlpool Corporation Unveils New Leading Edge Technology Center

Technology center to be laundry, dishwasher and small appliance innovation hub Facility to employ more than 500 Michigan-based high-tech talent Whirlpool Corporation today unveiled a new 153,000-square-foot technology center in St. Joseph, Mich. The $60+ million...

Whirlpool Corporation Welcomes Rudy Wilson to Board of Directors

The Whirlpool Corporation board of directors has appointed Rudy Wilson, president of global consumer brands at SC Johnson, to the board, effective August 14, 2023. Wilson will serve on the audit committee and the finance committee. Wilson, 48, was named president of...

Why Retrofit?

The average age of a single family home in the US is 34 years old, meaning that much of the existing housing stock was constructed in an era that offered both relatively inexpensive energy and did not consider carbon dioxide as a form of pollution that contributes to global warming.  Consequently, simple energy efficiency measures are sorely lacking in these homes—a problem with far reaching consequences, but also an opportunity for substantial energy savings.

The ReNEWW House retrofit sought to both preserve the historic character of the house, while also vastly improving its’ overall energy and water efficiency. The retrofit took place in 3 stages – first, a deep energy retrofit to get to Net Zero Energy. This was followed by an interior remodel and water system retrofit to achieve Net-Zero Water Usage, in which Whirlpool worked with Kohler Corporation. Finally, Ford Motor Company enabled the addition of a new garage with a Ford Focus BEV and EV Charging Station.

Before & After - Front of House

Before & After - Back of House

Before & After - Kitchen

Before & After - Central Area

Before & After - Basement

Before & After - Garage

Net Zero Energy

According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), residential housing units account for 22 percent of the total primary energy usage in the US. Over two thirds of this energy is used for HVAC, appliances, or water heating¹. Since the ReNEWW House is in a heating climate with many cloudy days, the home underwent a massive energy retrofit to address energy consumption and storage. This included new appliances, insulation, HVAC, water heater, lighting, windows, doors, siding and roofing. In addition, a drainline heat recovery system was added to recover waste energy from the shower drain and use it to heat incoming cold water. Finally, to get to Net Zero Energy, a Solar Thermal (PVT) System was added to the roof, to generate as much energy in one year as is used inside the house.


Solar Panel – South Side


Solar Panel – West Side


Outside Insulation


Siding & Windows


Geothermal HVAC


Water Heating


Drain Heat Recovery


LED Lighting

Net Zero Water

The average person in the United States uses 91 gallons of water per day. This water use translates into roughly $1000 per American family per year to pay for their water usage. Much of this water usage is potable, treated water that is flushed immediately down the drain. In phase 2 of the ReNEWW House Retrofit, the old, outdated water-using fixtures and appliances were replaced with new, water-efficient Kohler fixtures and Whirlpool appliances. In addition, rainwater harvesting and filtration was installed onsite for all potable water applications. Finally, in an effort to offset potable water usage for toilet flushing, a CleanBlu Greywater treatment system was installed onsite. After all these improvements, the residents of the house have been consuming roughly 21 gallons per person, per day… a ~75% reduction in water usage!

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