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The paper discusses the results of a Housing and Urban Development-sponsored research project in which the potential for saving energy in a typical model of a best-selling new home using practical, off-the-shelf energy-conserving products and techniques was investigated. An Energy-Efficient Residence (EER) was designed and built with only slight modification in the exterior appearance (in conformance with the contract) of the Conventional Comparison Home (CCH) selected for this research.
The paper describes the detailed energy-conserving techniques used in both the EER and CCH homes; the change in cost for the energy conserving techniques, as measured on-the-site with industrial engineering methods for both the labor and materials used in the EER and the CCH; the calculated heating and cooling loads at design conditions along with projected annual energy consumption in both homes; the economic and technical basis for selection of the energy-conserving techniques used in the EER; the results of thermographic surveys; general occupancy observations; and measurements related to comfort performance, including air, surface, and mean radiant temperatures and relative humidity. In addition, the actual measured energy consumption for three heating months and three cooling months while both homes, which are located adjacent to each other, are occupied by similar families is presented and analyzed. The results include data on energy used for space heating, heating equipment blowers, water heating, all individual major appliances, and lighting and miscellaneous uses. The dramatic reduction of energy use in the EER compared with that in the CCH is presented along with a comparison of actual to projected energy consumption for both homes. The design- and equipment-related consequences of these differences are also presented.
thermal insulation, air infiltration, thermography, moisture, humidity, electric consumption, energy consumption, degree days
President, National Association of Home Builders Research Foundation, Inc., Rockville, Md.
Director of Building Technology, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, D.C.