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Title: Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Energy Challenge Home Program Certification of Production Builders

The purpose of this project was to evaluate integrated packages of advanced measures in individual test homes to assess their performance with respect to Building America program goals, specifically compliance with the DOE Challenge Home Program. BSC consulted on the construction of five test houses by three cold climate production builders in three U.S. cities and worked with the builders to develop a design package tailored to the cost-related impacts for each builder. Also, BSC provided support through performance testing of the five test homes. Overall, the builders have concluded that the energy related upgrades (either through the prescriptive or performance path) represent reasonable upgrades. The builders commented that while not every improvement in specification was cost effective (as in a reasonable payback period), many were improvements that could improve the marketability of the homes and serve to attract more energy efficiency discerning prospective homeowners. However, the builders did express reservations on the associated checklists and added certifications. An increase in administrative time was observed with all builders. The checklists and certifications also inherently increase cost due to: adding services to the scope of work for various trades, such as HERS Rater, HVAC contractor; and increased material costs related tomore » the checklists, especially the EPA Indoor airPLUS and EPA WaterSense® Efficient Hot Water Distribution requirement.« less
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  1. Building Science Corporation, Somerville, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Building Science Corporation, Somerville, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Country of Publication:
United States
Residential; Residential Buildings; BSC; Building America; DOE Challenge Home Program; production builders; new construction; single family homes; HERS Index; EPA Indoor airPLUS; EPA WaterSense; ENERGY STAR for Homes