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Home Design & Remodeling

  • Ultra-Efficient Home Design

    An ultra-efficient home can be designed and built to produce as much energy as it uses -- or even more!

  • Passive Solar Home Design

    Passive solar design takes advantage of a building’s site, climate, and materials to minimize energy use.

  • Whole-House Systems Approach

    A whole-house systems approach considers the house as an energy system with interdependent parts, each of which affects the performance of the entire system. This approach helps homeowners, architects, and builders develop successful strategies for optimizing home energy efficiency.

Investing in your home's energy efficiency when designing a new home or remodeling an existing one can help you save energy and money in the long run. The design or remodeling stage is also a good time to consider adding a renewable energy system like small wind turbine or solar panels that will provide your home with electricity, water heating, or space heating and cooling.

If you'd like to design an energy-efficient home, no matter what type of design, you should use what's called the whole-house systems approach. If you're remodeling a home, be sure to conduct an energy audit before making upgrades to determine what energy efficiency improvements should and can be made to your home.


Energy-Efficient Home Design
The Home Energy Score is a national rating system developed by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Score reflects the energy efficiency of a home based on the home's structure and heating, cooling, and hot water systems. The Home Facts provide details about the current structure and systems. Recommendations show how to improve the energy efficiency of the home to achieve a higher score and save money.

Before you design a new home or remodel an existing one, consider investing in energy efficiency.

Advanced House Framing
Two-story home using advanced framing techniques.

Advanced house framing, sometimes called optimum value engineering (OVE), refers to framing techniques designed to reduce the amount of lumber used and waste generated in the construction of a wood-framed house.

Energy-Efficient Manufactured Homes
There are many opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of manufactured homes. | Photo courtesy of ©

Like site-built homes, new manufactured homes (formerly known as mobile homes) can be designed for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Sunrooms and Sunspaces
This attractive sunspace can be isolated from the rest of the house by closing doors in the wall between the house and the sunspace. | Photo courtesy of

Sunspaces serve three main functions -- they are a source of auxiliary heat, they provide space to grow plants, and they are pleasant living areas.

Incentives and Financing for Energy Efficient Homes
Financial incentives and financing programs can help with the cost of making energy efficient home improvements and installing renewable energy systems, such as solar electricity. | Photo courtesy of Dennis Schroeder/NREL.

Consumers can find financial assistance for energy efficient purchases and improvements in the form of incentives such as tax credits or rebates, and through energy-efficient financing.

Cool Roofs
Energy 101: Cool Roofs

A cool roof in a hot climate can save you money and make your home more comfortable.

Energy Efficiency in Log Homes
Consider energy efficiency when designing or purchasing a log home. | Photo courtesy of ©

Before designing or purchasing a log home, you should consider several factors related to energy efficiency.

5 Steps to Making Your Windows More Energy Efficient
Keep your hard-earned dollars from flying out the window by following the <a href="">latest guidelines for window repair, rehabilitation and replacement</a>. | Photo courtesy of the Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center.

Whether you're a professional home performance contractor or a do-it-yourself homeowner, learn five simple steps for making your windows more energy efficient.