Home Innovation News

July 15, 2017 | Upper Marlboro, MD

Home Innovation to Help Achieve Building America Efficiency Goals

Seeking ‘Sweet Spot’ to Integrate Innovative Design and Existing Labor Force

This summer, as a part of ongoing efforts to cut energy waste in the new and existing U.S. buildings, the Department of Energy announced grants totaling up to $3.7 million to study and validate new energy efficiency solutions for homes. These projects will lead to improved energy efficiency and smarter operation for millions of American homes and the families who occupy them, saving money on their energy bills while improving health and comfort. Home Innovation Research Labs was one of only a handful of Building America research teams to receive one of these grants.

Five Building America project teams will focus on developing and implementing solutions to three interrelated 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. For its part in the research, Home Innovation has created a broad-based team that will work specifically on advanced HVAC equipment design strategies for optimal efficiency and humidity control.

“In our efforts to develop practical, cost-effective strategies for dehumidification and ventilation for ever more energy-efficient homes,” said Vladimir Kochkin, who leads the building science team at Home Innovation and manages its Building America projects, “our goal will be to find a ‘sweet spot’ in the HVAC design that allows existing trades and the HVAC industry infrastructure to adapt quickly to new high-performance technologies. This focus on implementation and adaptability is key given the current shortage of skilled labor in the market.”

The selected projects will accelerate energy performance improvements in existing and new residential buildings using an integrated building systems approach to achieve peak energy performance. These awards build on work begun in the 2015 and 2016 Building America funding cycles, and are focused primarily on addressing remaining gaps and objectives in the Building America Research to Market Plan. This work will contribute to achieving the Residential Building Integration program’s goals of reducing the energy use intensity of new homes by at least 60% and existing homes by at least 40%, relative to the 2010 average for homes in each U.S. Climate Zone.

“The Building America program brings together leading building science experts and industry partners to tackle major technical challenges in real homes,” according to David Nemtzow, director of the Building Technologies Office. These innovative projects will advance our understanding of building performance, help U.S. industry innovate, and provide the public with reliable, unbiased technical information on home innovations.”

For more information on Home Innovation’s Building America or other energy efficiency work, visit www.HomeInnovaiton.com or call 800.638.8556.

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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.