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Occupant-in-Place Energy Efficiency Retrofit in a Group Home for 30% Energy Savings in Climate Zone 4

Description: Energy efficiency retrofits (EERs) face many challenges on the path to scalability. Limited budgets, cost effectiveness, risk factors, and accessibility impact the type and the extent of measures that can be implemented feasibly to achieve energy savings goals. Group home retrofits can face additional challenges than those in single family homes - such as reduced access (occupant-in-place restrictions) and lack of incentives for occupant behavioral change. This project studies the specification, implementation, and energy savings from an EER in a group home, with an energy savings goal of 30%. This short term test report chronicles the retrofit measures specified, their projected cost-effectiveness using building energy simulations, and the short term test results that were used to characterize pre-retrofit and post-retrofit conditions. Additionally, the final report for the project will include analysis of pre- and post-retrofit performance data on whole building energy use, and an assessment of the energy impact of occupant interface with the building (i.e., window operation). Ultimately, the study's results will be used to identify cost effective EER measures that can be implemented in group homes, given constraints that are characteristic of these buildings. Results will also point towards opportunities for future energy savings.
Date: August 1, 2013
Creator: Moore, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Group Home Energy Efficiency Retrofit for 30% Energy Savings: Washington, D.C. (Fact Sheet)

Description: Energy efficiency retrofits (EERs) face many challenges on the path to scalability. Limited budgets, cost effectiveness, risk factors, and accessibility impact the type and the extent of measures that can be implemented feasibly to achieve energy savings goals. Group home retrofits can face additional challenges than those in single family homes - such as reduced access (occupant-in-place restrictions) and lack of incentives for occupant behavioral change. This project studies the specification, implementation, and energy savings from an EER in a group home, with an energy savings goal of 30%. This short term test report chronicles the retrofit measures specified, their projected cost-effectiveness using building energy simulations, and the short term test results that were used to characterize pre-retrofit and post-retrofit conditions. Additionally, the final report for the project will include analysis of pre- and post-retrofit performance data on whole building energy use, and an assessment of the energy impact of occupant interface with the building (i.e., window operation). Ultimately, the study's results will be used to identify cost effective EER measures that can be implemented in group homes, given constraints that are characteristic of these buildings. Results will also point towards opportunities for future energy savings.
Date: November 1, 2013
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

APPLICATION OF DOE-2 TO RESIDENTIAL BUILDING ENERGY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

Description: One important requirement emerging from national and international efforts to shift from our present energy-intensive way of life to an energy conservation mode is the development of standards for assessing and regulating energy use and performance in buildings. This paper describes a life-cycle-cost approach to Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) calculated by using DOE-2: The Energy Use Analysis of Buildings Computer Program. The procedure outlined raises important questions that must be answered before the energy budgets devised from this approach can be reliably used as a policy tool, The DOE-2 program was used to calculate the energy consumption in prototype buildings and in their modified versions in which energy conservation measures were effected. The energy use of a modified building with lowest life-cycle-cost determines the energy budget for all buildings of that type. These calculations were based on a number of assumptions that may be controversial. These assumptions regard accuracy of the model, comparison of the DOE-2 program with other programs, stability of the energy budget, and sensitivity of the results to variations in the building parameters.
Date: October 1, 1980
Creator: Lokmanhekim, M.; Goldstein, D. B.; Levine, M. D. & Rosenfield, A. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Impact of Residential Mechanical Ventilation on Energy Cost and Humidity Control

Description: The DOE Building America program has been conducting research leading to cost effective high performance homes since the early 1990's. Optimizing whole house mechanical ventilation as part of the program's systems engineered approach to constructing housing has been an important subject of the program's research. Ventilation in residential buildings is one component of an effective, comprehensive strategy for creation and maintenance of a comfortable and healthy indoor air environment. The study described in this white paper is based on building energy modeling with an important focus on the indoor humidity impacts of ventilation. The modeling tools used were EnergyPlus version 7.1 (E+) and EnergyGauge USA (EGUSA). Twelve U.S. cities and five climate zones were represented. A total of 864 simulations (2*2*3*3*12= 864) were run using two building archetypes, two building leakage rates, two building orientations, three ventilation systems, three ventilation rates, and twelve climates.
Date: January 1, 2014
Creator: Martin, E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Improved Modeling of Residential Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps for Energy Calculations

Description: This report presents improved air conditioner and heat pump modeling methods in the context of whole-building simulation tools, with the goal of enabling more accurate evaluation of cost effective equipment upgrade opportunities and efficiency improvements in residential buildings.
Date: January 1, 2013
Creator: Cutler, D.; Winkler, J.; Kruis, N.; Christensen, C. & Brendemuehl, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Strategy Guideline: Energy Retrofits for Low-Rise Multifamily Buildings in Cold Climates

Description: This Strategy Guideline explains the benefits of evaluating and identifying energy efficiency retrofit measures that could be made during renovation and maintenance of multifamily buildings. It focuses on low-rise multifamily structures (three or fewer stories) in a cold climate. These benefits lie primarily in reduced energy use, lower operating and maintenance costs, improved durability of the structure, and increased occupant comfort. This guideline focuses on retrofit measures for roof repair or replacement, exterior wall repair or gut rehab, and eating system maintenance. All buildings are assumed to have a flat ceiling and a trussed roof, wood- or steel-framed exterior walls, and one or more single or staged boilers. Estimated energy savings realized from the retrofits will vary, depending on the size and condition of the building, the extent of efficiency improvements, the efficiency of the heating equipment, the cost and type of fuel, and the climate location.
Date: April 1, 2013
Creator: Frozyna, K. & Badger, L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bay Ridge Gardens - Mixed Humid Affordable Multifamily Housing Deep Energy Retrofit: Annapolis, Maryland. Building America Case Study: Whole-House Solutions for Existing Homes (Fact Sheet)

Description: Under this project, Newport Partners (as part of the BA-PIRC research team) evaluated the installation, measured performance, and cost-effectiveness of efficiency upgrade measures for a tenant-in-place DER at the Bay Ridge multifamily (MF) development in Annapolis, Maryland. The design and construction phase of the Bay Ridge project was completed in August 2012. This report summarizes system commissioning, short-term test results, utility bill data analysis, and analysis of real-time data collected over a one-year period after the retrofit was complete. The Bay Ridge project is comprised of a "base scope" retrofit which was estimated to achieve a 30%+ savings (relative to pre-retrofit) on 186 apartments, and a "DER scope" which was estimated to achieve 50% savings (relative to pre-retrofit) on a 12-unit building. The base scope was applied to the entire apartment complex, except for one 12-unit building which underwent the DER scope. A wide range of efficiency measures was applied to pursue this savings target for the DER building, including improvements/replacements of mechanical equipment and distribution systems, appliances, lighting and lighting controls, the building envelope, hot water conservation measures, and resident education. The results of this research build upon the current body of knowledge of multifamily retrofits. Towards this end, the research team has collected and generated data on the selection of measures, their estimated performance, their measured performance, and risk factors and their impact on potential measures.
Date: October 1, 2013
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electric Energy Management in the Smart Home: Perspectives on Enabling Technologies and Consumer Behavior: Preprint

Description: Smart homes hold the potential for increasing energy efficiency, decreasing costs of energy use, decreasing the carbon footprint by including renewable resources, and transforming the role of the occupant. At the crux of the smart home is an efficient electric energy management system that is enabled by emerging technologies in the electric grid and consumer electronics. This article presents a discussion of the state-of-the-art in electricity management in smart homes, the various enabling technologies that will accelerate this concept, and topics around consumer behavior with respect to energy usage.
Date: August 1, 2013
Creator: Zipperer, A.; Aloise-Young, P. A.; Suryanarayanan, S.; Roche, R.; Earle, L.; Christensen, D. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Application of Spray Foam Insulation Under Plywood and Oriented Strand Board Roof Sheathing

Description: Unvented roof strategies with open cell and closed cell spray polyurethane foam insulation sprayed to the underside of roof sheathing have been used since the mid-1990's to provide durable and efficient building enclosures. However, there have been isolated moisture related incidents reported anecdotally that raise potential concerns about the overall hygrothermal performance of these systems. The incidents related to rainwater leakage and condensation concerns. Condensation concerns have been extensively studied by others and are not further discussed in this report. This project involved hygrothermal modeling of a range of rainwater leakage and field evaluations of in-service residential roofs using spray foam insulation. All of the roof assemblies modeled exhibited drying capacity to handle minor rainwater leakage. All field evaluation locations of in-service residential roofs had moisture contents well within the safe range for wood-based sheathing. Explorations of eleven in-service roof systems were completed. The exploration involved taking a sample of spray foam from the underside of the roof sheathing, exposing the sheathing, then taking a moisture content reading. All locations had moisture contents well within the safe range for wood-based sheathing. One full-roof failure was reviewed, as an industry partner was involved with replacing structurally failed roof sheathing. In this case the manufacturer's investigation report concluded that the spray foam was installed on wet OSB based on the observation that the spray foam did not adhere well to the substrate and the pore structure of the closed cell spray foam at the ccSPF/OSB interface was indicative of a wet substrate.
Date: October 1, 2013
Creator: Grin, A.; Smegal, J. & Lstiburek, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Application of Spray Foam Insulation Under Plywood and OSB Roof Sheathing (Fact Sheet)

Description: Spray polyurethane foams (SPFs) have advantages over alternative insulation methods because they provide air sealing in complex assemblies, particularly roofs. Spray foam can provide the thermal, air, and vapor control layers in both new and retrofit construction. Unvented roof strategies with open cell and closed cell SPF insulation sprayed to the underside of roof sheathing have been used since the mid-1990s to provide durable and efficient building enclosures. However, there have been isolated incidents of failures (either sheathing rot or SPF delamination) that raise some general concerns about the hygrothermal performance and durability of these systems. The primary risks for roof systems are rainwater leaks, condensation from diffusion and air leakage, and built-in construction moisture. This project directly investigated rain and indirectly investigated built-in construction moisture and vapor drives. Research involved both hygrothermal modeling of a range of rain water leakage scenarios and field evaluations of in-service residential roofs. Other variables considered were climate zone, orientation, interior relative humidity, and the vapor permeance of the coating applied to the interior face of open cell SPF.
Date: November 1, 2013
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Applying Best Practices to Florida Local Government Retrofit Programs

Description: In some communities, local government and non-profit entities have funds to purchase and renovate distressed, foreclosed homes for resale in the affordable housing market. Numerous opportunities to improve whole house energy efficiency are inherent in these comprehensive renovations. BA-PIRC worked together in a multi-year field study making recommendations in individual homes, meanwhile compiling improvement costs, projected energy savings, practical challenges, and labor force factors surrounding common energy-related renovation measures. The field study, Phase 1 of this research, resulted in a set of best practices appropriate to the current labor pool and market conditions in central Florida to achieve projected annual energy savings of 15-30% and higher. This report describes Phase 2 of the work where researchers worked with a local government partner to implement and refine the 'current best practices.' A simulation study was conducted to characterize savings potential under three sets of conditions representing varying replacement needs for energy-related equipment and envelope components. The three scenarios apply readily to the general remodeling industry as for renovation of foreclosed homes for the affordable housing market. Our new local government partner, the City of Melbourne, implemented the best practices in a community-scale renovation program that included ten homes in 2012.
Date: December 1, 2013
Creator: McIlvaine, J. & Sutherland, K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ground Source Heat Pump Sub-Slab Heat Exchange Loop Performance in a Cold Climate

Description: This report presents a cold-climate project that examines an alternative approach to ground source heat pump (GSHP) ground loop design. The innovative ground loop design is an attempt to reduce the installed cost of the ground loop heat exchange portion of the system by containing the entire ground loop within the excavated location beneath the basement slab. Prior to the installation and operation of the sub-slab heat exchanger, energy modeling using TRNSYS software and concurrent design efforts were performed to determine the size and orientation of the system. One key parameter in the design is the installation of the GSHP in a low-load home, which considerably reduces the needed capacity of the ground loop heat exchanger. This report analyzes data from two cooling seasons and one heating season. Upon completion of the monitoring phase, measurements revealed that the initial TRNSYS simulated horizontal sub-slab ground loop heat exchanger fluid temperatures and heat transfer rates differed from the measured values. To determine the cause of this discrepancy, an updated model was developed utilizing a new TRNSYS subroutine for simulating sub-slab heat exchangers. Measurements of fluid temperature, soil temperature, and heat transfer were used to validate the updated model.
Date: November 1, 2013
Creator: Mittereder, N. & Poerschke, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hood River Passive House

Description: The Hood River Passive Project was developed by Root Design Build of Hood River Oregon using the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) to meet all of the requirements for certification under the European Passive House standards. The Passive House design approach has been gaining momentum among residential designers for custom homes and BEopt modeling indicates that these designs may actually exceed the goal of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Building America program to reduce home energy use by 30%-50% (compared to 2009 energy codes for new homes). This report documents the short term test results of the Shift House and compares the results of PHPP and BEopt modeling of the project. The design includes high R-Value assemblies, extremely tight construction, high performance doors and windows, solar thermal DHW, heat recovery ventilation, moveable external shutters and a high performance ductless mini-split heat pump. Cost analysis indicates that many of the measures implemented in this project did not meet the BA standard for cost neutrality. The ductless mini-split heat pump, lighting and advanced air leakage control were the most cost effective measures. The future challenge will be to value engineer the performance levels indicated here in modeling using production based practices at a significantly lower cost.
Date: January 1, 2014
Creator: Hales, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hood River Passive House, Hood River, Oregon (Fact Sheet)

Description: The Hood River Passive Project was developed by Root Design Build of Hood River Oregon using the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) to meet all of the requirements for certification under the European Passive House standards. The Passive House design approach has been gaining momentum among residential designers for custom homes and BEopt modeling indicates that these designs may actually exceed the goal of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Building America program to "reduce home energy use by 30%-50%" (compared to 2009 energy codes for new homes). This report documents the short term test results of the Shift House and compares the results of PHPP and BEopt modeling of the project. The design includes high R-Value assemblies, extremely tight construction, high performance doors and windows, solar thermal DHW, heat recovery ventilation, moveable external shutters and a high performance ductless mini-split heat pump. Cost analysis indicates that many of the measures implemented in this project did not meet the BA standard for cost neutrality. The ductless mini-split heat pump, lighting and advanced air leakage control were the most cost effective measures. The future challenge will be to value engineer the performance levels indicated here in modeling using production based practices at a significantly lower cost.
Date: February 1, 2014
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Moisture Management for High R-Value Walls

Description: The following report explains the moisture-related concerns for High R-value wall assemblies and discusses past Building America research work that informs this study. Hygrothermal simulations were prepared for several common approaches to High R-value wall construction in six cities (Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, and International Falls) representing a range of climate zones (2, 3, 4C, 4, 5A, and 7, respectively). The simulations are informed by experience gained from past research in this area and validated by field measurement and forensic experience. The modeling program was developed to assess the moisture durability of the wall assemblies based on three primary sources of moisture: construction moisture, air leakage condensation, and bulk water leakage. The peak annual moisture content of the wood based exterior sheathing was used to comparatively analyze the response to the moisture loads for each of the walls in each given city. Walls which experienced sheathing moisture contents between 20% and 28% were identified as risky, whereas those exceeding 28% were identified as very high risk. All of the wall assemblies perform well under idealized conditions. However, only the walls with exterior insulation, or cavity insulation which provides a hygrothermal function similar to exterior insulation, perform adequately when exposed to moisture loads. Walls with only cavity insulation are particularly susceptible to air leakage condensation. None of the walls performed well when a precipitation based bulk water leak was introduced to the backside of the sheathing, emphasizing the importance of proper flashing details.
Date: November 1, 2013
Creator: Lepage, R.; Schumacher, C. & Lukachko, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Moisture Management of High-R Walls (Fact Sheet)

Description: The following report explains the moisture-related concerns for High R-value wall assemblies and discusses past Building America research work that informs this study. Hygrothermal simulations were prepared for several common approaches to High R-value wall construction in six cities (Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, and International Falls) representing a range of climate zones (2, 3, 4C, 4, 5A, and 7, respectively). The simulations are informed by experience gained from past research in this area and validated by field measurement and forensic experience. The modeling program was developed to assess the moisture durability of the wall assemblies based on three primary sources of moisture: construction moisture, air leakage condensation, and bulk water leakage. The peak annual moisture content of the wood based exterior sheathing was used to comparatively analyze the response to the moisture loads for each of the walls in each given city. Walls which experienced sheathing moisture contents between 20% and 28% were identified as risky, whereas those exceeding 28% were identified as very high risk. All of the wall assemblies perform well under idealized conditions. However, only the walls with exterior insulation, or cavity insulation which provides a hygrothermal function similar to exterior insulation, perform adequately when exposed to moisture loads. Walls with only cavity insulation are particularly susceptible to air leakage condensation. None of the walls performed well when a precipitation based bulk water leak was introduced to the backside of the sheathing, emphasizing the importance of proper flashing details.
Date: December 1, 2013
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Regional Variation in Residential Heat Pump Water Heater Performance in the U.S.: Preprint

Description: Residential heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) have recently reemerged on the U.S. market. These units have the potential to provide homeowners significant cost and energy savings. However, actual in use performance of a HPWH will vary significantly with climate, installation location, HVAC equipment, and hot water use. To determine what actual in use energy consumption of a HPWH may be in different regions of the U.S., annual simulations of both 50 and 80 gallon HPWHs as well as a standard electric water heater were performed for over 900 locations across the U.S. The simulations included a benchmark home to take into account interactions between the space conditioning equipment and the HPWH and a realistic hot water draw profile. It was found that the HPWH will always save some source energy when compared to a standard electric resistance water heater, although savings varies widely with location. In addition to looking at source energy savings, the breakeven cost (the net installed cost a HPWH would have to have to be a cost neutral replacement for a standard water heater) was also examined. The highest breakeven costs were seen in cases with high energy savings, such as the southeastern U.S., or high energy costs, such as New England and California. While the breakeven cost is higher for 80 gallon units than 50 gallon units, the higher net installed costs of an 80 gallon unit lead to the 50 gallon HPWHs being more likely to be cost effective.
Date: January 2014
Creator: Maguire, J.; Burch, J.; Merrigan, T. & Ong, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Northwest Energy Efficient Manufactured Housing Program: High Performance Manufactured Home Prototyping and Construction Development

Description: The Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), and Northwest Energy Works (NEW), the current Northwest Energy Efficient Manufactured Housing Program (NEEM) administrator, have been collaborating to conduct research on new specifications that would improve on the energy requirements of a NEEM home. In its role as administrator, NEW administers the technical specs, performs research and engineering analysis, implements ongoing construction quality management procedures, and maintains a central database with home tracking. This project prototyped and assessed the performances of cost-effective high performance building assemblies and mechanical systems that are not commonly deployed in the manufacturing setting. The package of measures is able to reduce energy used for space conditioning, water heating and lighting by 50 percent over typical manufactured homes produced in the northwest.
Date: November 1, 2013
Creator: Hewes, T. & Peeks, B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluating an Exterior Insulation and Finish System for Deep Energy Retrofits

Description: Exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) are proprietary synthetic formulations that are applied to the exterior walls of buildings to serve as insulation and exterior cladding. The insulation thickness can vary from less than one inch to a foot or more. In this project the applicability of EIFS for residential deep energy retrofits was investigated through modeling and a case study home. The home was retrofitted using a site-applied four-inch-thick EIFS. Site-specific details were developed as required for the residential retrofit application. Site work and the costs of the EIFS system were documented. The demonstration home was modeled using Building Energy Optimization energy and cost analysis software to explore cost effectiveness of various EIFS insulation thicknesses in two climate locations.
Date: January 1, 2014
Creator: Dentz, J. & Podorson, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced Envelope Research for Factory Built Housing, Phase 3 -- Design Development and Prototyping

Description: The Advanced Envelope Research effort will provide factory homebuilders with high performance, cost-effective alternative envelope designs. In the near term, these technologies will play a central role in meeting stringent energy code requirements. For manufactured homes, the thermal requirements, last updated by statute in 1994, will move up to the more rigorous IECC 2012 levels in 2013, the requirements of which are consistent with site built and modular housing. This places added urgency on identifying envelope technologies that the industry can implement in the short timeframe. The primary goal of this research is to develop wall designs that meet the thermal requirements based on 2012 IECC standards. Given the affordable nature of manufactured homes, impact on first cost is a major consideration in developing the new envelope technologies. This work is part of a four-phase, multi-year effort. Phase 1 identified seven envelope technologies and provided a preliminary assessment of three selected methods for building high performance wall systems. Phase 2 focused on the development of viable product designs, manufacturing strategies, addressing code and structural issues, and cost analysis of the three selected options. An industry advisory committee helped critique and select the most viable solution to move further in the research -- stud walls with continuous exterior insulation. Phase 3, the subject of the current report, focused on the design development of the selected wall concept and explored variations on the use of exterior foam insulation. The scope also included material selection, manufacturing and cost analysis, and prototyping and testing.
Date: January 1, 2014
Creator: Levy, E.; Kessler, B.; Mullens, M. & Rath, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Predicting Envelope Leakage in Attached Dwellings

Description: The most common method for measuring air leakage is to use a single blower door to pressurize and/or depressurize the test unit. In detached housing, the test unit is the entire home and the single blower door measures air leakage to the outside. In attached housing, this 'single unit', 'total', or 'solo' test method measures both the air leakage between adjacent units through common surfaces as well air leakage to the outside. Measuring and minimizing this total leakage is recommended to avoid indoor air quality issues between units, reduce energy losses to the outside, reduce pressure differentials between units, and control stack effect. However, two significant limitations of the total leakage measurement in attached housing are: for retrofit work, if total leakage is assumed to be all to the outside, the energy benefits of air sealing can be significantly over predicted; for new construction, the total leakage values may result in failing to meet an energy-based house tightness program criterion. The scope of this research is to investigate an approach for developing a viable simplified algorithm that can be used by contractors to assess energy efficiency program qualification and/or compliance based upon solo test results.
Date: July 1, 2013
Creator: Faakye, O.; Arena, L. & Griffiths, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Technology Solutions for New Manufactured Homes: Idaho, Oregon, and Washington Manufactured Home Builders (Fact Sheet)

Description: The Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), and Northwest Energy Works (NEW), the current Northwest Energy Efficient Manufactured Housing Program (NEEM) administrator, have been collaborating to conduct research on new specifications that would improve on the energy requirements of a NEEM home. In its role as administrator, NEW administers the technical specs, performs research and engineering analysis, implements ongoing construction quality management procedures, and maintains a central database with home tracking. This project prototyped and assessed the performances of cost-effective high performance building assemblies and mechanical systems that are not commonly deployed in the manufacturing setting. The package of measures is able to reduce energy used for space conditioning, water heating and lighting by 50 percent over typical manufactured homes produced in the northwest.
Date: November 1, 2013
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NILM Applications for the Energy-Efficient Home

Description: We present a forecast for systems-focused applications of non-intrusive load monitoring (NILM), which meet the needs of homeowners, the technology sector, the service sector, and/or utilities. We discuss both near- and long-term applications.
Date: November 1, 2012
Creator: Christensen, D.; Earle, L. & Sparn, B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Affordable Cold Climate Infill Housing with Hybrid Insulation Approach, Wyandotte, Michigan (Fact Sheet)

Description: Even builders who are relatively new to energy-efficient construction can consistently reach a target whole house airtightness of 1.5 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals (ACH50) with high R-value enclosures that use a hybrid insulation approach. The City of Wyandotte, Michigan, started a construction program in 2010 to build affordable, energy-efficient homes on lots in existing neighborhoods. A goal of the program was to engage local builders in energy-efficient construction and be able to deliver the new houses for less than $100/ft2. By the end of 2012, approximately 25 new houses were built by five local builders under this program. To help builders consistently achieve the airtightness target, a local architect worked with researchers from Building Science Corporation, a U.S. Department of Energy Building America team, to develop a technology specification with several key pieces. A high R-value wall and roof assembly made use of 2 ?6 advanced framing and a hybrid insulation approach that included insulating sheathing to control thermal bridging and closed cell spray polyurethane foam insulation (ccSPF) for its airtightness and vapor control benefits. This approach allows the air barrier to be completed and tested before any finishing work occurs, ensuring that problems are spotted and corrected early in the construction process.
Date: November 1, 2013
Creator: Metzger, C.; Lukachko, A.; Grin, A. & Bergey, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department