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

January 27, 2010

The New American Home to Incorporate Energy-Saving Technologies

Apparent photo of a modern, two-story house.

The 2010 edition of The New American Home, shown in a computer rendering, aims to use 72% less energy than a similar house built to code.
Credit: RM Design

The National Council of the Housing Industry and Builder Magazine have unveiled the design of the 2010 edition of The New American Home, which aims to use 72% less energy than a similar house built to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. The New American Home provides an annual real-world demonstration of current innovations in architecture, construction techniques, and new products, including the latest energy-saving technologies. The design for this year's structure features an energy efficient thermal shell, including insulated concrete forms for the walls, energy efficient windows and sliding glass doors, and an unvented attic with spray foam insulation applied to the underside of the roof and the inside of the gables. The building is also meant to be airtight, and it employs a heat recovery ventilator to provide fresh outdoor air with a minimal loss of energy.

With a solar thermal hot water system, Energy Star-rated appliances, and 80% of all hard-wired lamps comprised of fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), the structure relies on the most current energy innovations. Combining these energy efficiency features with high-efficiency heating and cooling systems yields a home that consumes 49% less energy than a similar house built to code. The 10.53-kilowatt solar electric system on the home's roof cuts its average energy use by nearly half again. The home's energy performance helped it achieve the gold level score under the National Green Building Program of the National Association of Home Builders. 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.

The New American Home is the official showcase home of the annual International Builders' Show (IBS), which for this year was held on January 19-22 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Unfortunately, for the first time in its 27-year history, the home was not completed in time for the show. In a chain of events all too familiar to builders, tight credit and a soft market for high-end homes in Las Vegas made it difficult to find alternative financing after a private lender withdrew funding for the home. Because the home is now only 75% complete, the IBS instead created a special exhibition area that provided a virtual tour of the home. See The New American Home Web page and energy summary on the IBS Web site, as well as the Building America brochure about the home (PDF 1.1 MB). Download Adobe Reader.