This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 28, 2009

The New American Home Demonstrates Energy-Saving Technologies

Photo of a sand-colored building with stone trim and louvers in front of its windows.

The New American Home 2009 features a modernistic design, including louvered windows that provide shade while allowing an unimpeded view.
Credit: IBACOS

The National Council of the Housing Industry and Builder Magazine have unveiled the 2009 edition of The New American Home, a real-world demonstration of the latest concepts in architecture, construction techniques, new products, and lifestyle trends, including the latest in energy-saving technologies. Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, The New American Home 2009 incorporates energy efficiency from the ground up, starting with insulated concrete forms in the basement and structural walls, then adding low-E windows, vertical and horizontal overhangs for shading, efficient lighting, and advanced spray-foam insulation.

The home is heated and cooled with a high-efficiency, natural gas-powered system, and tankless water heaters provide hot water. As a result, the home uses about half of the energy of a similarly sized home built to meet the minimum requirements of the International Residential Code. Taking into account the 10.64-kilowatt solar electric system on the home's roof cuts the home's average energy use by nearly half again, yielding a savings of 73% relative to the international code. The home's energy performance helped it score at the gold level under the National Green Building Program of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). IBACOS, Inc., a member of DOE's Building America program, worked with the National Council of the Housing Industry to help ensure energy innovations in the home. See the NAHB press release, The New American Home Web page, and the Building America brochure about the home (PDF 1.7 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

The New American Home is the official showcase home of the NAHB's International Builders' Show, which was held on January 20-23 in Las Vegas. As you might guess, attendance was down this year, but green building provided one of the few bright spots for the show. As noted by NAHB, twice as many exhibitors showcased green product lines this year, in part because of growing demand for the products from consumers. The NAHB also noted that the leading suppliers of the housing industry are now providing information on how their products can generate points for NAHBGreen, the NAHB National Green Building Program. The halls of higher education are also supporting the green building effort, as Purdue University will help its students earn the Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation. Introduced less than a year ago, the CGP designation has now been earned by 1,900 building professionals. See the NAHB press releases on the green exhibitors, the growing consumer demand, the point values on green products, and the CGP designation.