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Recent Honors:
2004 Winner of Excellence in Energy Performance Award
from TXU Electric and the Texas Energy Star Home

Recent News:


Green Extreme Homes CDC, Jean Brown


Carl Franklin Homes, LLC

Lewisville, Texas

Steve Brown,


Rater: Eric Johnson, TexEnergy Solutions


Project Data:

  • Name: First DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Retrofit
  • Location: Garland, TX
  • Layout: 3 bedrooms; 1 bath; 1 floor
  • Conditioned Space: 1,270 ft2
  • Climate Zone: IECC 3A, Hot-Humid
  • Completion: May 2014
  • Category: Affordable

Modeled Performance Data:

  • HERS Index: without PV 59
  • Projected Annual Utility Costs: without PV $480
  • Projected Annual Energy Cost Savings (compared to a house built to the 2009 IECC): without PV $582
  • Builder’s Added Cost Over 2009 IECC: $38,000

1953 suburban home in Garland, Texas, has become the nation’s first renovated home to be certified to the high performance requirements of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home program, thanks to a successful collaboration between the non-profit community development corporation Green Extreme Homes (GEH) and for-profit builder Carl Franklin Homes of Lewisville, Texas. The 60-year-old, 3-bedroom rancher is expected to save its homeowner more than $1,000 a year in utility bills compared to a home built to the current 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. Carl Franklin Homes conducted the comprehensive retrofit. Green Extreme Homes worked with vendors, businesses, and local organizations to acquire the grants and volunteers to make the project possible.

The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program is a home labeling program that seeks to bring homes to such high levels of performance and low levels of energy use that a small amount of solar panels on the roof could make the home a true net zero energy home, one that produces as much energy as it consumes in a year. The program is typically aimed at new homes, but DOE Building America Chief Architect Sam Rashkin mentioned to a long-time builder friend, Steve Brown, his desire to try the criteria on a retrofit home. Brown’s company, Carl Franklin Homes, has been building and retrofitting affordable and entry-level homes in the Dallas area since 1993, working for the past four year with Green Extreme Homes CDC, a Texas-based 501c-3 non-profit focused on efficient affordable housing.

GEH and Carl Franklin Homes jumped at the challenge of renovating the foreclosed home, which was donated to GEH by the Bank of America. Although the exterior did not change much, except for a new paint job, new roofing, and trim, the inside was completely redone, giving the home and its owner, a disabled American veteran, a fresh start.