University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of EngineeringOnline: Autumn 2011
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Omaha Mayor Jim Shuttle, Melinda Pearson, Jim Goedert, City Councilman Pete Festerson and Tim Hemsath cut the ribbon at the ZNETH II site.



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In collaboration with UNL architecture and engineering faculty and other partners, the City of Omaha held a ribbon-cutting to celebrate completion of the ZNETH II (Zero Net Energy Test House) at Hummel Park Nature Center, Oct. 24.

Faculty in the UNL College of Engineering and The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, the UNL College of Architecture, University of Nebraska Omaha and The Peter Kiewit Institute also collaborated on an initial ZNETH facility several years ago in Omaha.

This new 1,000 square foot house in Hummel Park will provide a year-round residence for the city’s nature center caretaker and allow researchers to monitor the home with a real-time system. James Goedert, assistant professor of construction in The Durham School, served as project manager; Tim Hemsath, assistant professor of architecture, was lead architect for the building.


The two-bedroom home also features:

  • Energy monitoring and control system, including Energy Star appliances; low-flow shower head, toilet and faucet; occupancy sensors; and optimized lighting
  • A two-ton geothermal heatpump
  • Hardiplank siding that can last more than 50 years
  • High efficiency doors and windows
  • Double wall framing
  • Water conservation through rain barrels.

"This caretaker residence is a great public partnership between the educational/research component at the University of Nebraska and the recreation/summer camp activities in the City of Omaha," said Melinda Pearson, director of Omaha Parks, Recreation and Public Property.

Additional research partners include the City of Omaha Parks, Recreation and Public Property Department; The Peter Kiewit Institute Technology Department Corp.; University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health; University of Nebraska at Omaha Department of Chemistry; and The Nebraska Environmental Trust.

– JS Engebretson


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