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/ Sustainable is Attainable! Affordable Zero Energy Homes (Hickory)

Sustainable is Attainable! Affordable Zero Energy Homes (Hickory)

Date: May 3, 2024

This workshop will cover the process of designing and building high-performance homes on a budget. Zero energy ready homes are more energy efficient and have a tighter building envelope than a standard home which changes the landscape for mechanical systems. Discussions will take a deep dive into high performance mechanical systems including mechanical design for low load homes, IAQ and ventilation, and new equipment choices on the market that optimize comfort, efficiency, and cost. We will also address the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the benefits of certifications such as the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Program and communicating the value to potential homeowners. The workshop will conclude with an afternoon site visit to Duke Street Cottages, a net zero energy ready home community located in nearby Granite Falls and featured in the February 21, 2024 Washington Post article “Why industry is blocking the push for more energy efficient homes.”

Course Fee:

  • Regular rate: $200 ($150 early registration until April 12)
  • Special discount: $100 registration fee for
    • current students and employees of any UNC System university
    • current employees of nonprofit and government agencies

Course fee includes light breakfast and lunch.

You may cancel your registration two weeks before class starts for a refund minus a $20 processing fee. There will be no refunds after April 19, 2024. In certain cases, we will issue a full credit for a future class. 

Location: App State Hickory Campus located at 800 17th St NW, Hickory, NC 28601. The site tour at Duke Street Cottages in Granite Falls is located approximately five miles from the Hickory Campus. Participants are encouraged to carpool to the tour site.

Time: 9:00am-4:00pm

  • 8:30-9:00 Registration and coffee
  • 9:00-12:00 Lecture
  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00-2:00 Lecture/Group Discussion
  • 2:00-4:00 Tour of Duke Street Cottages

Continuing Education Credits Offered: 4 LU|HSW, 4 PDH. Real estate agents may submit a Request for Continuing Education Equivalent Credit with $50 fee to self report to the NCREC for CE credit

All attendees will receive a digital Certificate of Completion. Course materials will be provided electronically.


Rob Howard, an expert in building science, sustainable technology, and attainable housing development. Rob is President of Howard Building Science and a Lecturer in Building Sciences at Appalachian State University.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify affordable strategies for meeting DOE Zero Energy Ready Home requirements
  • Explore high performance heating, cooling, and ventilation systems for low load homes
  • Discuss the importance of monitoring and maintenance for optimum performance
  • Understand the policy and financial mechanisms that impact the co0nsitruction of high performance homes.

Image credits:

Rob Howard