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Handbook Improving Home Efficiency Cold Climate

Handbook Improving Home Efficiency Cold Climate

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August 2005 • NREL/TP-550-38309
Building America Best Practices Series: Volume 3
Builders and Buyers Handbook for Improving New Home Efficiency,Comfort, and Durability in the Cold and Very Cold Climates
U.S. Department of Energy
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Bringing you a prosperous future where energy is clean, abundant, reliable, and affordable
Building Technologies Program
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MANAGERS
Putting building science to work for  your bottom line 
INTRODUCTION
Taking action in your community 
CASE STUDIES
Bringing it all together 
SITE PLANNERS& DEVELOPERS
Properly situated houses  pay big dividends 
SITE SUPERVISORS
Tools to help with project management 
DESIGNERS
Well-crafted designs capture benefits for builders,buyers, and business 
TRADES
Professional tips for fast and easy installation
MARKETERS
Energy efficiency delivers the value that customers demand 
HOMEOWNERS
Shopping for value,comfort, and quality 
Building America Best Practices Series: Volume 3
Builders and Buyers Handbook for Improving New Home Efficiency, Comfort, and Durability in the Cold and Very Cold Climates 
 Version 2, 8/2005 TTL-1
Building America Best Practices Series: Volume 3
Builders and Buyers Handbook for Improving New Home Efficiency,Comfort, and Durability in the Cold and Very Cold Climates
Prepared by 
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Michael C. BaechlerZ. Todd Taylor, Rosemarie Bartlett, Theresa Gilbride, Marye Hefty, Heidi Steward
and 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Pat M. Love
DISCLAIMER
This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor Battelle Memorial Institute, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty,express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information,apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof, or Battelle Memorial Institute. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.
 
Acknowledgments
MANAGERS
Putting building science to work for  your bottom line 
INTRODUCTION
Taking action in your community 
CASE STUDIES
Bringing it all together 
SITE PLANNERS& DEVELOPERS
Properly situated houses  pay big dividends 
SITE SUPERVISORS
Tools to help with project management 
DESIGNERS
Well-crafted designs capture benefits for builders,buyers, and business 
TRADES
Professional tips for fast and easy installation
MARKETERS
Energy efficiency delivers the value that customers demand 
HOMEOWNERS
Shopping for value,comfort, and quality 
Building America Best Practices Series: Volume 3
Builders and Buyers Handbook for Improving New Home Efficiency, Comfort, and Durability in the Cold and Very Cold Climates 
 Version 2, 8/2005 ACK-1
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building America program is comprised of public/private partnerships that conduct systems research to improve overall housing performance,increase housing durability and comfort, reduce energy use, and increase energy security for America’s homeowners. Program activities focus on finding solutions for both new and existing homes, as well as integrating clean onsite energy systems that will allow thehomebuilding industry to provide homes that produce more energy than they use. In additionto the DOE management and staff, the Building America Program includes seven consortia,four national laboratories, and hundreds of builders, manufacturers, and service providers.Building America works closely with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s(HUD) Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) Program, co-manages theENERGY STAR Program along with the Environmental Protection Agency, and works withother federal agencies to coordinate research findings and disseminate information. Thesepartners make the program a successful source of knowledge and innovation for industry practitioners and government policy makers. Together, these cooperating agencies haveprovided reviews and shared insightful comments, as well as making the authors aware of their technical libraries.The U.S. DOE Building America Program funded the development of this series of handbooks. DOE also funded the Building America consortia and national laboratories toform the basis for these best practices. The seven consortia are listed on the back cover of this document. The consortia have taken on the hard work of applied research, field testing,training builders, and transforming the results into building practices. Numerous drawings,descriptions, photos, and case studies originated with the consortia.Many builders have chosen to use the Building America process in collaboration with theconsortia and are quoted in this series of best practices with over a dozen featured in casestudies. These builders deserve thankful recognition for contributing to the success of theBuilding America Program and the
Best Practices Series 
.Building America partners worked diligently on this project to further the cause of efficiency,resource conservation, or improved building performance. These groups have voluntarily supplied technical materials, review comments, or help in distribution. These contributorsinclude Southface Energy Institute; Energy and Environmental Building Association, Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes Program; Consortium for Energy Efficiency, AirConditioning Contractors of America, National Fenestration Rating Council, and National Association of Home Builders. National Association of State Universities and Land GrantColleges Extension Service Professors from universities throughout the nation provided valuable and in depth contributions. In particular, professors from the following universitiesdevoted their time and shared their insights: University of Kentucky, Cornell University,University of Florida, University of Louisiana; and the University of Minnesota.This project required coordination among the national laboratories. Pacific NorthwestNational Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have taken the lead at producing this document. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory made its library of Building  America documents available to the authors, reviewed the document, and has responsibility for posting the document to the Web. Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reviewed the document contents.Christina Van Vleck lent this project her skill as a graphic artist. She prepared all of theoriginal drawings and designed and laid out the overall series of books.The authors and DOE offer their gratitude to the many contributors that made thisproject a success.

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