Home Innovation News

Home Innovation proposals selected to enhance previous research, provide practical EE solutions.

May 8, 2015 | Upper Marlboro, MD

Home Innovation Labs Selected for Over $1 Million in Proposed Building America Research

On Track to Continue Innovative Research on Wall Systems, Moisture Performance,
and Investigate Retrofit Roofing Insulation Solutions

Earlier this week, as part of a $4 million initiative to develop and demonstrate new energy efficiency solutions for the nation's homes, the Department of Energy selected Home Innovation Research Labs as one of five prospective contract award recipients. DOE selected three Home Innovation proposals for Building America research, which could total nearly $1.1 million over the next two years. A long-time provider of research services to the Building America Program, Home Innovation looks forward to continuing innovative research initiated under previous contracts, as well as pursuing newly-proposed research, all focused on advancing solutions for moisture-managed, high-performance residential envelope systems.

One of the projects selected will provide additional research into extended plate and beam (EP&B) wall systems. This technology was initially developed by Home Innovation as part of a previous Building America project, and offers a simplified method for incorporating continuous rigid foam insulation into a traditional 2x4 wood-framed wall assembly. Since EP&B is based on the most commonly used home framing technique currently in use, it removes many of the barriers to the adoption of High-R wall systems. This makes both DOE and Home Innovation very optimistic about its chances for widespread market adoption. 

Another project will develop wall system guidance, as well as improve methods for assessing and improving moisture durability of home envelopes. The goals of this project will be to demonstrate the performance of well-designed high-performance walls, to identify and develop solutions for wall systems with less optimal performance that need additional safety/durability, and to develop a set of design criteria and code change proposals that ensure durability in high-performance walls.

Finally, Home Innovation will be studying an innovative approach to roof insulation retrofits, in which nailbase insulated panels are installed over the roof deck before re-roofing. These panels can be installed in one step and result in semi-conditioned attics that can reduce HVAC energy use by at least 10 percent.

As shown in these Home Innovation projects selected for Building America funding, all the current Building America teams will focus on developing and implementing solutions to three interÔÇÉrelated core technical challenges: high performance building envelope assemblies and systems; optimal comfort systems for heating, cooling, air distribution, and humidity control; and high performance ventilation systems and indoor air quality strategies. DOE has decided to fund projects that develop and demonstrate integrated solutions to any or all of these core technical challenges and primarily focus on solutions for the hot/humid, mixed humid, and cold climate zones, all of which have very different requirements. These projects will demonstrate techniques that address these requirements, while promoting energy efficiency at a reasonable cost and preserving indoor air quality.

For more information on the Home Innovation projects and the other teams and projects selected by the Building America Program, visit the Building America website.

# # #

About Building America: The Energy Department's Building America program develops cutting-edge innovations and resources with industry partners to spur the residential buildings market to adopt energy efficiency measures that will provide 50% savings in new homes by 2025 and 40% savings in existing homes by 2030. A major focus of the work is home heating and cooling, because they account for 40% of a home's energy consumption, the largest single energy use and more than water heating, refrigeration, and lighting combined.

ABOUT: Home Innovation Research Labs, located in Upper Marlboro, Md., is a full-service research, testing, and consulting firm determined to improve the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of single- and multifamily homes and home building products – in short, we aim to perfect the home. Founded in 1964 as a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), our team has been integral in solving many of our client’s most difficult product and technology issues, and helping to introduce some of the most groundbreaking innovations in residential construction. Through an interdisciplinary research approach – including market research, building science analysis, laboratory testing, and standards development – we help to find a home for innovation in the residential construction industry.

NOTE TO EDITORS ON STYLE USAGE: To identify this company and its work correctly, first reference should be "Home Innovation Research Labs." In subsequent mentions, "Home Innovation Labs” or simply “Home Innovation” are acceptable and accurate alternative references; we are not identified by an acronym. Prior to February 12, 2013, the company was known as the NAHB Research Center.