NetZero House

The NetZero House, located at 10 Winter Street, is our region’s first “net-zero” energy house. The home, which used the latest green technologies such as a geothermal heating system and solar thermal hot water system, is designed to create as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. Prior to the home’s renovation, the NetZero House was an abandoned home filled with garbage.

The house, originally built circa 1880, is a single-family home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large basement. The house is also the first home in the city of Buffalo to use a vacant lot for geothermal heating - a system that generates all of the house’s heat.

The geothermal heating system circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze using a pump in the basement that circulates the mixture through plastic tubing in the ground. The natural temperature of the ground heats the water to around 55-degrees. The water then returns to the basement where a heat exchanger processes the water, heating it to a more suitable temperature. The system circulates the water through the plastic tubing in the home’s floors, which ends up heating the entire house.

To date, the NetZero House serves as a model for energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. Redesigned using the Green and Healthy Homes Model by architect Kevin Connors of Eco-Logic Studio, the house was completed using volunteers, a green jobs training program with the Outsource Center and various construction unions.

Because of PUSH’s commitment to provide all of our members with access to family sustaining green jobs and local training programs, West Side residents were able to take advantage of a Youth Build partnership - a partnership that enabled 50 green jobs trainees to learn valuable job skills in the carpentry and green construction fields.

The NetZero House, which serves as a rehab model for other projects to come in PUSH’s growing Green Development Zone, was acquired for $2200 at the City Tax Foreclosure Auction. The house is now home to longtime PUSH board member and chair, Maxine Murphy.

Additional green technologies used to build the NetZero House include the following:

  • 4.5-KW photovoltaic roof-mounted solar array
  • Super-insulated building shell
  • An Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV), which is a whole house mechanical ventilation system
  • A galvanized, metal roof (to reduce energy consumption) that is 100 percent recyclable