Building America Puts Green Building to the Test

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pix_07139.jpgA program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, called Building America, where research into green building techniques is conducted to determine the best way to build sustainably. These methods will produce homes that emit fewer greenhouse gases and pollution, as well as reduce energy bills for homeowners. 

Building America works with the residential building industry to develop and implement innovative energy efficient building systems for new and existing homes. Teams made up of architects, engineers, builders, equipment manufacturers, material suppliers, community planners, mortgage lenders and contractor trades, analyze and select cost-effective strategies for improving home performance.” Several goals of the project include:

  • Reduce average whole-house energy use by 30-90% and reduce construction time and waste.
  • Improve indoor air quality and comfort
  • Integrate clean onsite power systems leading to Zero Energy Homes
  • Increase the energy efficiency of existing homes by 20-30%.

New homes are designed in such a way to consider the interaction between the building envelope, mechanical systems, orientation to the sun and prevailing winds, climate, landscaping, neighboring houses, and other factors.

Research has shown, for example, that Advanced Framing Systems create highly insulated homes that are more lumber and labor efficient. A tight building envelope to minimize air infiltration is needed to further reduce heating and cooling loads. Windows with low-E (emissivity) coatings and vinyl frames are especially efficient. Properly sized mechanical systems provide the most efficiency and comfort. High-quality, factory-made modules reduce construction time and costs and improve energy and resource efficiency. Minimizing exposure to the elements during construction is an added bonus.

Over 41,000 homes have been built to date utilizing the researched green building strategies.

Visit the U.S. Dept of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for more information.

Tag(s): Going Green, Green Building, Greenhouse Gas Emissions / Global Warming, Money Saving

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