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Insulation wall on an affordable house.

This project developed low-cost, highly efficient comfort system designs to enable homes in two of the largest affordable housing market segments (manufactured housing and Habitat for Humanity) to use affordable high-performance enclosures, ductless mini-split heat pumps, transfer fans, and ventilation. For manufactured housing, this innovation enables HVAC systems to be fully installed in the factory, avoiding problems associated with field setup.

Occupied and unoccupied test homes were monitored for one year to develop alternatives for airflow system design, to establish guidelines for design and construction, testing and refining, and to study how occupants influence performance and system operability.

The project also demonstrated 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. This impact is especially important in affordable housing, where consistently low utility bills are critical for occupants.

Read more about this success story on the project web page.