The Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County (RDA) has recently partnered with local green developers to build houses with “net zero” energy features.

A net-zero energy house, which combines extra insulation, energy-efficient features and a passive solar design, generates more energy than it uses rather than relying solely upon the grid.

Howard Ways, executive director of the RDA, says the goal of working with green builders is to make net-zero houses in Prince George’s County the rule, not the exception.

The net-zero house at 3413 Glenn Drive in Suitland, Md., recently featured as a 2015 Greenbuild Conference Offsite Educational Tour, is a 100-year-old single-family residence that was completely remodeled to meet net-zero, LEED Platinum and Energy Star standards. LEED and Energy Star are certification programs that require builders and remodelers to meet specific standards for energy efficiency and environmentally friendly practices.

The three-bedroom, two-bath house has solar panels, energy-efficient windows, doors, fixtures and appliances; a solar water heater, bamboo floors in the living and dining areas, 42-inch kitchen cabinets, granite counters and cultured marble double sinks in the bathrooms. The house is listed for sale at $316,800 and has a deck and back yard with barrels to collect rainwater.

Construction recently began on a net-zero house at 3719 34th St. in the Gateway Arts District of Mount Rainier.

Urban Green, in partnership with VNV Development and Wiencek & Associates Architects, is building the LEED Platinum, 1,826-square-foot single-family house. The residence will have four bedrooms, three baths and a first-floor unit accessible for those with disabilities.

The RDA provided the land for the house at a below-market financing rate. Green features include a passive solar design, rooftop solar panels, a super-insulated thermal envelope, a super-efficient water heater, environmentally friendly building materials and advanced indoor air-quality and storm water management systems. The cost for the project is $356,000, and the projected sales price will be in the low $400,000s.

The RDA intends to develop other net-zero houses in Capitol Heights and Fairmount Heights.

For more information on the Suitland net-zero home, contact Patricia Omondi, senior construction adviser for the RDA at 301-883-5300 or

For more information on the Mount Rainier net-zero home, visit

Michele Lerner is a freelance writer. To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at and put “Town Square” in the subject line.