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

January 19, 2011

The New American Home Incorporates Energy-Saving Technologies

Photo of a two-story single family home.

The New American Home 2011 near Orlando, Florida, displays a range of energy efficiency and renewable energy features.
Credit: James F. Wilson

The National Council of the Housing Industry and Builder Magazine have revealed the 2011 edition of "The New American Home," which aims to use 42% less energy than would a similar house built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. Each year, The New American Home provides a demonstration of current innovations in architecture, construction techniques, and new products, including the latest energy-saving technologies. The current model, near downtown Orlando, Florida, highlights DOE's Building America strategies to conserve energy and building materials. The builder deconstructed existing homes on the site rather than demolishing them, recovering the maximum amount of materials for reuse. The new house features an airtight, energy efficient thermal shell, including concrete block exterior walls insulated with spray foam.

The home also uses solar energy for a portion of its space conditioning. This new HVAC offering bundles the space conditioning system with four dedicated photovoltaic panels, so that when the system is not running, other electrical devices in the home can use the solar power instead. A solar thermal hot water system with an 80-gallon storage tank provides most of the home's hot water. And, 60% of all interior and exterior lamps are energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps, linear fluorescent lamps, and LEDs. Energy Star appliances are used throughout the structure. The home's energy performance helped it achieve the "emerald" level, the highest score under the National Green Building Program of the National Association of Home Builders. IBACOS, Inc., a member of the Building America program, worked with the National Council of the Housing Industry to help ensure energy innovations in the home.

Building America is an industry-driven research program, sponsored by DOE and designed to accelerate the development and adoption of advanced building energy technologies in new and existing homes. The New American Home is the official showcase home of the annual International Builders' Show (IBS), which this year was held January 12-15 in Orlando. See The New American Home Web site on the IBS Web site and the New American Home 2011 fact sheet PDF.