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Green Blog

Building America

By FAF Staff Writer, (379 words) Posted in Green Building on October 30, 2009
There are (82) comments permalink

Building America is a program intended and designed to pick up the pace of the development and adoption of advanced building energy technologies in existing and new homes. It is a research program motivated by the building industry and sponsored by the US Department of Energy.

Research Objectives

The Building America program is a collaborative effort involving research teams from key members of the building industry with a research goal of producing advanced residential buildings. These teams carry out systems engineering research to develop strategies and technologies toward the following goals:

  • To build homes that reduce source energy consumption by an average of between 40% and 100% on a community scale.
  • To produce zero energy homes by integrating onsite power systems that will produce as much energy as they consume. The target date to achieve this goal is 2020.
  • Improvement of indoor air quality and comfort.
  • Identify means for home builders to reduce construction waste and construction time.
  • Develop and implement creative and improved technologies that save energy and materials.
  • Enhance builder profitability.
  • Produce a platform to provide manufacturers and suppliers with new product opportunities.
  • Substantially increase the energy productivity in existing homes.

Enhanced Home Features

The Building America teams collaborate with builders toward reaching the projected efficiency goals. They employ a total–house, systems engineering approach to identify the highest–value, least-cost home features, some of which are:

  • Climate–related designs
  • Ultra efficient foundations, walls, windows and roofs
  • Solar heating and cooling
  • Latest technology appliances for cooling, hot water and lighting systems
  • Construction techniques that resist moisture.

Benefits to Builders and Developers

  • Increased competitive market edge with innovative, beneficial products
  • Substantial cost savings by reduced construction wastage and better selection of materials and equipment
  • Increased productivity, reduced risks and fewer call backs
  • Enhanced building performance
  • Increased profit margins with upgrades and energy efficiency
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction and resulting referrals.

Improved design and right material selection reduces construction costs to allow for higher quality homes with no additional or negligible increase in operating costs to the homeowner.

Benefits to Homeowners

Building America strategies assure customer satisfaction for the following reasons:

  • Building America homes reduce energy consumption resulting in substantial reductions in utility bills
  • The homes are designed to reduce temperature fluctuations and room to room variations resulting in increased comfort
  • The homes are built with materials and strategies that improve the overall operation and structure
  • The designs and construction techniques resist long–term weather and age degradation hence increasing durability
  • Building America homes reduce pollution and energy consumption which makes them environmentally sustainable
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