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 in the News

Living ‘BioWall’ of Plants Could Clean Household Air, Lower Energy Bills

Homes of the future could have cleaner air and lower energy bills due to a Purdue team’s BioWall innovation involving the use of a living wall of air-cleaning plants. “Over the past century there have been initiatives to create more airtight buildings that increase...

ReNEWW House on Pace to Meet Net-Zero

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...

The ReNEWW House, a Sustainable Living Laboratory

There has long been an argument that homes and buildings are reliant on 19th-century technologies. The result is that while home climate-control systems and features such has windows have improved over the years, homes and buildings are still inefficient. One project...

Partnering and Innovating for Sustainable Lifestyles

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) today announced that the sustainable lifestyles of the future are taking shape under a new collaboration between Whirlpool Corporation, P&G and Firmenich at the Whirlpool ReNEWW House – a live-in...

A Deep Energy Retrofit Brings ReNEWW House HERS Score to Near Zero

The first phase of the ambitious ReNEWW House project has slashed this home’s HERS score to near zero. IN JULY 2013, Whirlpool Corporation partnered with Purdue University on a retrofit of a late 1920s bungalow in West Lafayette, Indiana. The goal: to create more...

Whirlpool Corporation’s RENEWW House Turns Existing Home Into Sustainable Living Showcase

Home provides valuable insights for homebuilders and customers Whirlpool Corporation, along with Purdue University, is currently transforming an existing home near the Purdue campus into a world class research laboratory and sustainable living showcase. Called ReNEWW...

About the ReNEWW House for Retrofitted Net-Zero Energy, Water and Waste

The home – called the ReNEWW House for Retrofitted Net-Zero Energy, Water and Waste – is a multi-year research project in which Whirlpool Corporation is working with GeoComfort, Purdue University and other industry partners to retrofit a 1920s vintage home into a...

ReNEWW: Whirlpool and Purdue University Team Up to Make Sustainable Attainable

According to Whirlpool and Purdue University, any average American home can become energy efficient, and the team plans to create the prototype that shows how it’s done. In West Lafayette, Ind., a 1928 bungalow is becoming a residential laboratory for appliance- and...

Purdue, Whirlpool partner to ReNEWW

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...

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.

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Solar Panel – South Side

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Solar Panel – West Side

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Outside Insulation

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Siding & Windows

ReNEWW-Energy-Geothermal

Geothermal HVAC

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Water Heating

ReNEWW-Energy-DrainHeatRecovery

Drain Heat Recovery

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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!

Have questions about the ReNEWW House?

Email Us at ReNEWWHouse@gmail.com