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Building America Update Newsletter

Building America Update Newsletter

Welcome to the Building America Update, a monthly newsletter. Read this month's feature story, or select the other newsletter topics below for more information. You can also Subscribe to receive the email version of Building America Update or browse newsletter archives.

New Building America Projects Focus on Building Envelope, Ventilation, and More

In the past year, Building America awarded new project funding to five Building America teams who will work with industry partners to provide world-class research. They will design, test, upgrade, and build technologies and high-performance homes using strategies that significantly cut energy use. These teams, who will work under the support of DOE national laboratories, are:

  • University of Central Florida/Florida Solar Energy Center: This team will work directly with leading production builders and product manufacturers to enable 50% whole-house energy savings compared with houses built to code through:
    • Demonstrating and validating high efficiency, variable capacity, ducted and ductless space conditioning systems with optimized comfort distribution and latent (i.e., humidity) control.
    • Testing a new "smart" ventilation system innovation aimed at saving space conditioning energy use while improving comfort, moisture, and peak load impacts.
  • The Levy Partnership, Inc.: This team will demonstrate the use of highly insulated envelopes and simplified high efficiency HVAC systems, which can routinely achieve 50% energy savings over 2009 International Energy Code Commission requirements, in homes in two of the largest affordable housing market segments, manufactured housing and Habitat for Humanity.
  • IBACOS: This team will investigate a new “plug and play” duct system - a simplified air delivery system for residential HVAC systems that solves air distribution and comfort delivery issues, and is especially pertinent to low-load production-built homes. The project will demonstrate the system’s predictable performance and advantages over traditional residential duct systems in the areas of comfort performance, integration within the conditioned space of the house, constructability, cost, and value.
  • Gas Technology Institute: This team will work on developing a systems approach for managing air sealing, ventilation, and air distribution during weatherization and home performance improvement projects. As part of this approach, the project will research and develop an air flow control system that is anticipated to produce ventilation energy savings of up to 30%.
  • Home Innovation Research Labs: This team has three projects, namely:
    • Moisture Performance of High-R Wall Systems: This project will develop wall system design guidance for builders and will also improve methods for assessing and improving moisture durability of envelope assembly systems.
    • Attic Retrofits Using Nail-Base Insulated Panels: This project will study an innovative approach to roof insulation retrofits in which nail-base insulated panels are installed over the roof deck before re-roofing, which can reduce HVAC energy use by at least 10%.
    • Extended Plate and Beam (EP&B) Wall System: This project will conduct research into extended plate and beam wall systems, which were initially developed by another Building America project, in order to demonstrate, develop, and disseminate the technology.

Learn more about the cutting-edge research being done by these teams, and search the publications library for published Building America research.