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Four homes are under construction in the Tennessee Valley to showcase homes that are at least 50% energy savers as compared to homes built to local code. Schaad Companies LLC, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Barber McMurry Architects (BMA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) intend to transform new and existing buildings into affordable, durable and efficient housing. All formed a private- and federal-sector consortium herein called the Zero Energy Building Research Alliance (ZEBRA). The consortium is about to evaluate the market viability for making two pairs of homes 50 percent more energy efficient than homes of similar size and style. Achieving the goal requires the most advanced building technology, products and techniques available. The homes are located on adjacent cul-de-sacs and are unoccupied for the duration of a two-year field study, thereby eliminating the confounding issue of occupancy habits.