In Brief

First Annual Housing Innovation Award Winners Announced

Figure 5. Weiss Building & Development, LLC, System Home in River Forest, Illinois, 2013 Grand Winner for Systems Builder at the Housing Innovation Awards. Chicagoland’s First Certified Passive House.

On October 4, 2013, the US Department of Energy (DOE) presented the inaugural winners of the firstever Housing Innovation Awards. The Awards recognize 46 diverse industry leaders bringing the best in energy efficient building technologies and design to new and older homes and helping households save money. The competition, coordinated by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, offered rigorous application criteria within four building categories: DOE Challenge Home Builders, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Participating Contractors, Excellence in Building Science Educator of the Year, and Building America Top Innovations. The Housing Innovation Awards recognize leading builders, contractors, researchers, national laboratories, and building science organizations who are helping communities across the country save money and energy and are leading the way to affordable, comfortable, zero net-energy ready homes.

The DOE Challenge Home Builder Awards are presented to builders who are changing the way homes are designed and constructed.

System Builders

  • Weiss Building & Development, LLC, South Elgin, Illinois [Grand Winner] (Figure 5)
  • Clifton View Homes, Whidbey Island, Washington [Winner]
  • Dwell Development, Seattle, Washington [Winner]

Custom Builders

Figure 6. Preferred Builders Inc., “The Performance House,” 2013 Grand Winner, Custom Builders, located in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. Photo displays unvented attic and one of the home’s air handlers. Attic insulated at R-52.6 using closed-cell spray foam, mineral fiber batt, and foil-faced fiberglass batt in layers. Air handlers in the home use ECM fans and rely on heating from a highefficiency boiler via a hot water coil, or cooling from a SEER 16 air conditioner. Information and photo can be found here.

  • Preferred Builders, Inc., Greenwich, Connecticut [Grand Winner] (Figure 6)
  • BPC Green Builders, Wilton, Connecticut [Winner]
  • Caldwell & Johnson Custom Builders & Remodelers, North Kingstown, Rhode Island [Winner]
  • e2 Homes, Winter Park, Florida [Winner]
  • Furguson Design & Construction, Inc., Sagaponack, New York [Winner]
  • StreetScape Development, LLC, Libertyville, Illinois [Winner]
  • Transformations, Inc., Townsend, Massachusetts [Winner]
  • Weiss Building & Development, LLC, South Elgin, Illinois [Winner]

Production Builders

Figure 7. “The Hale Plan” by New Town Builders of Denver, Colorado – 2013 Grand Winner, Production Builder. Home’s HERS Index, after solar PV, is 3. Every home New Town built at the Stapleton development in Denver will earn a Challenge Home certification from the US Department of Energy showing that it is a zero energy-ready home with a super-efficient building shell and a minimum of 2.5 kW of solar photovoltaic panels installed. Information and photo can be found here.

  • New Town Builders, Denver, Colorado [Grand Winner] (Figure 7)
  • Garbett Homes, Salt Lake City, Utah [Winner]
  • KB Home, Los Angeles, California [Winner]
  • Nexus EnergyHomes, Stevensville, Maryland [Winner]
  • Palo Duro Homes, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico [Winner]
  • Transformations, Inc., Townsend, Massachusetts [Winner]

Affordable Builders

Figure 8. Interior shot of Mandalay Homes project, Phoenix, Arizona, 2013 Grand Winner, Affordable Builders. The underside of the home’s roof is covered with 5.5 inches (R-20) of closed- cell spray foam, which provides a protected attic space to shield the HVAC equipment from the extreme heat of a Phoenix summer. The walls are filled with 3.5 inches of closed-cell spray foam, which provides excellent insulating and air-sealing properties. windows are double pane and vinyl framed with low-emissivity coatings to reduce heat loss in winter and minimize heat gain in summer. The house has fewer windows on the west side to reduce solar heat gain. Information and photo can be found here.

  • Mandalay Homes, Phoenix, Arizona [Grand Winner] (Figure 8)
  • Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, Ithaca, New York [Winner]
  • Manatee County Habitat for Humanity, Bradenton, Florida [Winner]
  • TC Legend Homes, Bellingham, Washington [Winner]

The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Participating Contractors award is presented to participating contractors who have demonstrated innovative business practices that mark them as leaders among their peers. They exhibit outstanding professionalism, build strong customer relationships, and apply building science solutions to improve homes. Only contractors that take part in rigorous training, apply the whole-house approach, adhere to program requirements, and continuously improve their workmanship through quality assurance measures can engage with Home Performance with ENERGY STAR as participating contractors. Winners for 2013 are:

  • Energy Efficiencies Solutions, Winsor, Connecticut [Winner]
  • Customer Relations and Market Leadership Halco, Phelps, Connecticut [Winner]
  • Market Leadership, Energy Savings, and Sales and Marketing Insulation Technologies, Milwaukee, Wisconsin [Winner]
  • Customer Relations and Energy Savings Powersmith Home Energy Solutions, Copiague, New York [Winner] Market Leadership, Energy Savings, and Sales and Marketing

The Excellence in Building Science Education Award was presented jointly by the National Consortium of Housing Research Centers (NCHRC) and the Energy Department to advance the state of building science curricula across the United States and Canada. Patrick Huelman, an Associate Extension Professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota, is being recognized for his exemplary work teaching building science and preparing a generation to produce buildings that are energy efficient, healthy, comfortable, and durable. Building America Top Innovation recipients were acknowledged for their game changing Building America research achievements. These innovations are helping to guide residential building professionals in moving toward more energy-efficient, healthier, and durable homes.

Advanced Technologies and Practices

  • High-Performance Ducts: Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings, Norwalk, Connecticut [Winner]
  • High-Efficiency Furnace Blower: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California [Winner]
  • High-Efficiency Window A/C: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado [Winner]
  • Next Generation Advanced Framing: Partnership for Home Innovation, Upper Malboro, Maryland [Winner]

House-as-a-System Business Case

  • Zero Net-Energy Ready Single Family Homes: Alliance for Residential Building Innovation, Davis, California [Winner]
  • Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, Orlando, Florida [Winner]
  • Building Science Corporation, Somerville, Washington [Winner] Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings, Norwalk, Connecticut [Winner] IBACOS, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania [Winner]
  • NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, St. Paul, Minnesota [Winner]
  • Partnership for Home Innovation, Upper Marlboro, Maryland [Winner]

Effective Guidance and Tools

  • Window Replacement, Rehabilitation & Repair Guide: Building Science Corporation, Somerville, Washington [Winner]
  • Quality Management System Guidelines: Building Science Corporation, Somerville, Washington [Winner]
  • IBACOS, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania [Winner]
  • Partnership for Home Innovation, Upper Marlboro, Maryland [Winner]
  • Building America Solution Center: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington [Winner]
  • Exterior Rigid Insulation Best Practices Building Science Corporation, Somerville, Washington [Winner]
  • NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, St. Paul, Minnesota [Winner]
  • Partnership for Home Innovation, Upper Marlboro, Maryland [Winner]

Infrastructure Development

  • Standardized Data Sharing System (HPXML)
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado [Winner]

The Housing Innovation Awards support industry for achievements in energy efficiency research, innovation, and success. Release and information from the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), DOE. Official news release available at articles/energy-department-announces-winners-housinginnovation- awards.

LEED v4 to Debut this November

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Version 4 (v4) will officially makes its entrance this month at the Greenbuild® International Conference and Expo, held November 20-22, 2013, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Registration, tools, and support resources under LEED v4 will become available at the Conference. Projects may continue to be registered under LEED 2009 until June 1, 2015. Beginning in the spring of 2014, LEED AP exams will be updated to reflect the new v4 criteria, however currently credentialed LEED AP’s will not need to retest. For more information on LEED v4, visit http://www.

The US Green Building Council’s® (USGBC) Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, held for 2013 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, is the world’s largest conference dedicated to green building. Early sessions, including LEED workshops, will convene November 18 and November 19, 2013, at the Conference site. The 2013 Conference features Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton giving the keynote address. Education tracks for 2013 will look at themes including affordable housing, net-zero, and community transformation. Scheduled Master Speakers include Ron Finley, Edward Mazria, Sheryl WuDunn, Joe Van Belleghem, and Avery Bang. The 2012 Conference had nearly 25,000 attendees from 90 countries. Conference agenda includes education sessions, green building tours and networking, and an exposition displaying the latest technological innovations and cutting-edge products. For more information on the Conference, go to

Building Technologies Office Sends RFI on Prioritization Tool

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) has issued a request for information (RFI) seeking feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other interested stakeholders for the Prioritization Tool. The BTO developed the Prioritization Tool to improve its programmatic decision-making. The tool provides an objective framework for most energy-saving measures and scenarios, as well as methodology, comparing long-term benefits and end-user costs applied to various markets, end-uses, and lifetimes. To date, the tool contains data on over 500 energy efficiency measures along with their markets. It has the capability to perform extensive analyses using established methodology for calculating energy savings potential and the costs of conserved energy associated with each measure.

Announced via a press release on October 25, 2013, BTO seeks comments and information related to the Prioritization Tool that improves both the tool’s accuracy and applicability for technology planning within BTO. Specifically, BTO’s RFI solicits comments and information on data, assumptions and outputs of various energy efficiency technologies, and activities analyzed by the Prioritization Tool.

The BTO goal for the Prioritization Tool is to enable open and objective comparison of hundreds of technology and market-based investment opportunities available to BTO. The energy efficiency measures identified in the tool cover a spectrum of market opportunities, including residential and commercial buildings, new and existing buildings, as well as industrial and outdoor applications. Most of the measures considered fall within one of BTO’s main focus areas in building energy end-use sectors:

  • Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC)
  • Water heating
  • Appliances
  • Lighting
  • Windows
  • Envelope: insulation and roofing
  • Sensors and controls
  • Miscellaneous electric loads

The tool strives to be comprehensive by including most known energy efficiency measures proven to save energy; laboratory-demonstrated, field-tested, analytically derived (with peer review) savings, and inclusive by integrating inputs from hundreds of sources and expert reviews. For further details, go to https://eere-exchange. tool&SearchType=#FoaIdc83baeea-4a16-48fa-a123- 7c03796b503b or e-mail questions to BTO_P_Tool_RFI@ Responses must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on December 24, 2013.

Building America Technical Reports and Energy Measure Guidelines Access

To access 2013 recent releases and top-ranked Technical Reports and Energy Measure Guidelines from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building AmericaSM Program, use the following links:


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