Bick Corsa Carpentry took top honors in the Massachusetts Zero Energy Challenge, an energy efficiency pilot program developed by a statewide group of electric utility companies. Over the past year, five home builders competed to design and build super-efficient single-family homes that achieve zero or near-zero energy performance by combining best-practices HVAC installations, passive solar design, high-efficiency building envelopes, and renewable energy technologies.

After completion, the performance of each house was tested and verified by Home Energy Rating System (HERS) professionals. The highest-performing homes were selected for three top prizes totaling $50,000 and were announced on June 29 in an awards event at the Massachusetts State House.

The Zero Energy Challenge winners are:

First Place ($25,000): Bick Corsa Carpentry, for the Tina Clarke/Doug Stephens Residence, Montague, Mass.

The first-place Zero Energy Challenge-winning project. Photo by Tina Clarke

Second Place ($15,000): Transformations Inc. for the The Needham, Townsend, Mass.

The second-place Zero Energy Challenge-winning project. Photo by David Ruggiero, ICF International

Third Place ($10,000): Rural Development for Wisdom Way Solar Village, Greenfield, Mass.

The third-place Zero Energy Challenge-winning project. Photo by David Ruggiero, ICF International

Fourth Place: Mark Sevier, P.E., for the Sevier/Farb Residence, Sudbury, Mass.

Fifth Place: Bread & Roses Housing for the Alder Street Development, Lawrence, Mass.

"Winners of the Zero Energy Challenge are energy efficiency trailblazers who are helping to build wider awareness and use of cutting-edge techniques that result in dramatic home energy savings," Secretary Ian Bowles, Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, said at the awards event. For complete information on each of the Zero Energy Challenge projects, visit www.zechallenge.com.

For previous coverage of the Zero Energy Challenge, read the June 18CUSTOM HOME article.