Building Technology Options for Your New Home

Building Technology Options for Your New Home
Building technology
options for your new home
Ensure your new home is safe,
durable and energy efficient
Building a new home is probably
the largest investment you’ll make
in your life. The more informed you
are about the quality of your home’s
construction, the happier you will
be with your decisions and your
new home. This brochure includes
information about the latest building
technologies for discussion with
your builder. If you are concerned
about how your new home will
perform in the areas of health,
safety, durability, energy costs and
comfort, then you must address
these issues before construction.
Building components
checklist
The cut-away house on the next page
shows a home’s thermal shell and
building components—the “Systems
Approach” to building a new home.
Optimum efficiency cannot be
achieved by selecting only a few
quality components. The overall plan
must be considered.
Each building component is
classified as “standard” “better” and
“best.” Homes built to “better” and “best”
standards may qualify as an ENERGY
STAR® home. An ENERGY STAR home
is built to be 15 percent more efficient
than the current International Energy
Conservation Code and is backed by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
To qualify, the home must be evaluated
by a nationally accredited Home Energy
Rating Systems (HERS) rater. For a
list of HERS raters or ENERGY STAR
builders, visit www.energystar.gov and
click “new homes.”
Standard—State Energy Code
Requirements require that an ICEE
2009 code compliance analysis is
completed on each home.
Better—Each component is
upgraded to higher R-Values,
higher heating and air conditioning
equipment efficiencies and all
equipment is properly sized.
Best—The latest building science
principles and products are used
in all components to achieve the
highest possible R-Values with air
sealing applied to the thermal shell,
highest heating and air conditioning
equipment efficiencies, moisture
control and mechanical ventilation.
An LES Energy Services
Representative can assist you or your
builder with identifying what approach
will meet your needs. This free service
is available by emailing [email protected]
les.com or calling 733275.
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1 Stud Walls
4
3 Basement Concrete Walls
Standard: 2x6 studs, R-21 batt insulation
Standard: R-13
Better:
2x6 studs, R-23 blown insulation
Better:
R-15 blown insulation
Best:
2x4 high density foam or 2x6 combination of
foam and blown insulation
Best:
Combination of foam in above grade concrete
walls and R-15 blown insulation
2 Sillbox-Bandjoist Area
4 Basement Floor
Standard: R-21 batt insulation
Standard: 4-inch concrete floor
Better:
R-21 foam
Better:
4-inch concrete floor, drain tile, sump pit
Best:
More than R-21 foam
Best:
4-inch concrete floor, drain tile, sealed sump
pit vented to exterior, high-density polyethylene
under floor
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5 Ceiling Areas
Standard: R-38 blown insulation air sealing on
all penetrations from living space into
unconditioned areas
Better:
Best:
R-40 blown insulation air sealing on
all penetrations from living space into
unconditioned areas
R-49 blown insulation, air sealing on
all penetrations from living space into
unconditioned areas
6 Windows & Doors
8 Ventilation
Standard: Standard bath fans
Better:
Energy Star rated bath fans with a low sone
(sound) rating that meet performance criteria
of the bathrooms’ required exhaust
Best:
Source-point ventilation with an Energy
Recovery Ventilator (ERV), or automated
exhaust fans
9 Duct Sealing
Standard: Ducts sealed
Better:
Combination of mastic sealant and foil back
tape. Supply and return duct systems should be
within the confines of the conditioned space with
little or no flex duct
Best:
All duct work, supply and return hard ducted
and sealed. Supply and return duct systems
should be within the confines of the conditioned
space with little or no flex duct
Standard: Double-pane glass
Better:
Double-pane glass, Low ‘E’ coating, argon filled
Best:
Triple-pane glass, Low ‘E’ coating, argon filled
7 HVAC
Standard: 80% AFUE gas furnace and 13 SEER central
air conditioner
Better:
Best:
13 SEER air-source heat pump with electric
air handler
10 Fireplaces
Or, 92% AFUE sealed combustion gas furnace
and 13 SEER air-source heat pump or central
air conditioner
Standard: Wood-burning fireplace with glass doors
Better:
Wood-burning or gas fireplace with airtight
glass doors
Closed-loop, water-source heat pump with
variable speed air handler
Best:
Sealed combustion direct vent gas fireplace or
electric fireplace
Or, 18-20 SEER air-source heat pump with
two-stage or variable speed compressor with
electric air handler
11 Roof/Attic Ventilation
Or, 95% AFUE sealed combustion gas furnace
and 18-20 SEER heat pump or central air
conditioner with two-stage or variable speed
compressor with variable speed blower
It is recommended that two-story homes install
two HVAC systems. If one system is installed,
consider zone controls so floor temperatures
can be controlled separately. A humidifier and
a permanent filter media is also recommended
for winter comfort.
Calculate equipment operating costs and
savings by using the Heating or Cooling Systems
Comparison Tools on www.kilowattchers.com.
10/2011
Attic ventilation is required for moisture removal during
the winter months and heat removal during the summer
months. Proper ventilation sizing requires 1⁄300th of
the square footage of attic area, or one square foot of
ventilation, one-half in high roof and one-half in soffits,
for every 300 square feet of attic area.
12 Electrical & Plumbing
Electrical and plumbing penetrations in exterior walls or
through the ceiling should be foamed or caulked.
Recessed lighting fixtures that extend into unconditioned
areas include airtight enclosures.
Electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls and ceiling
light fixtures should be airtight.
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