The home appliance giant has a ‘ReNEWW’ approach to energy savings.
Whirlpool Corp. is the world’s leading global manufacturer of home appliances, with $21 billion of 2017 sales while operating in nearly every country around the world. Those appliances are designed to be energy efficient and eco-friendly. The company’s North American portfolio of brands includes Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Gladiator and others.
ReNEWW House, a joint project of Whirlpool Corp. and Purdue University, demonstrated the feasibility of renovating a 1920s dwelling to meet or exceed new home efficiencies, while maintaining the charm and character of an older home.
Whirlpool Corporation, along with Purdue University, has transformed an existing classic home near Purdue’s campus into a world-class research laboratory and sustainable living showcase. That project is known as the ReNEWW House.
Retrofitted Net-zero Energy, Water & Waste (ReNEWW) represents the aspirational vision for the project: to convert a home, originally built in 1928, to one that has offset its energy use with solar power, rely only on locally available water sources, and to have waste-handling systems in place that prevent any household waste from going to the landfill. All of this had to be accomplished without changing the home’s historic nature.
Since the ReNEWW House is in a heating climate with many cloudy days, the home underwent a massive energy retrofit to address energy consumption and storage. This included new appliances, insulation, HVAC, water heater, lighting, windows, doors, siding and roofing. In addition, a drainline heat recovery system was added to recover waste energy from the shower drain and use it to heat incoming cold water. Finally, to get to net-zero energy, a solar thermal (PVT) system was added to the roof, to generate as much energy in one year as is used inside the house.
In addition, the old, outdated water-using fixtures and appliances were replaced with new, water-efficient Kohler fixtures and Whirlpool appliances. Rainwater harvesting and filtration was installed onsite for all potable water applications. And, in an effort to offset potable water usage for toilet flushing, a CleanBlu greywater treatment system was installed on site. After all these improvements, the water consumption dropped to roughly 21 gallons per person, per day—a 75 percent reduction in water usage.
ReNEWW House is providing valuable insights for Whirlpool’s homebuilder collaborators and customers on technologies that enable sustainable living. It also helped accelerate development of the next generation of ultra-high efficiency appliances—ones that increase core performance while lowering their impact on the environment and cost to operate.
They’re an Eco-Leader because...
- Whirlpool Corporation is one of the largest Fortune 500 consumers of on-site wind energy in the United States. In the U.S., Whirlpool Corporation has installed wind farms at several of its Ohio facilities to allow use of renewable energy in manufacturing. The company has wind farms in operation at Findlay, Ottawa and Marion, and has additional projects ongoing at its Greenville manufacturing facility.
- Collectively, the company expects to generate enough clean energy to power more than 2,400 average American homes per year.
Whirlpool continues to optimize and innovate to reduce appliance energy and water consumption, and help consumers reduce their own environmental footprints without compromising performance.
- Since 1998, Whirlpool Corporation has received 38 Energy Star Awards for continued commitment to energy- and water-efficient products. This is more than any other appliance manufacturer in the United States and Canada.