Evaluation of Affordable Prototype Houses at Two Levels of Energy Efficiency

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Two high-performance prototype houses were constructed in Carbondale, Colo. as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America (BA) Program. Both were similarly sized, with one meeting Energy Star standards and the other designed with an even greater package of energy efficiency measures. The test results were used as inputs for the purpose of calculating annual energy savings. Some conclusions from the test include:

  • Room to room temperatures in the greener home were more uniform, as it was equipped with a radiant floor heating system with three control zones.
  • Short-term temperature fluctuations occured in the base home, but no such fluctuations were present in the more efficient, prototype home.
  • The annual net solar contribution toward water heating and space heating in the prototype was about 35 percent.
  • Whole-house energy savings for the prototype was estimated to be 52 percent compared to 20 percent for the base home.
  • Energy savings for the prototype exceeded expectations by about 8 percent.

These test homes are designed to prove energy-efficient savings involved with incorporating the right components. Find out what the Building America prototype had to translate those savings into your own home.






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