Wisconsin Home Manufacturer Notches Energy Star
Wausau Homes signed an agreement with Wisconsin Energy StarTM on September 25th to build all of its modular and panelized homes to higher efficiency standards. The new standards, which are 30% to 50% higher than typical homes, will apply to all of the Wausau-based homebuilder's modular homes and will carry the Energy StarTM label. Wausau Homes is a major manufacturer of system-built homes in the Midwest and Southeast.
The label and certification is important to consumers to verify energy performance. It had previously been unavailable to modular home manufacturers like Wausau because Wisconsin Energy StarTM requires multiple site visits during construction and a final performance test. Manufactured homes are built with a different process that takes place mostly in the factory, and therefore needs a different certification process.
DOE's Building America helped address this issue through a grant to the Wisconsin Division of Administration's Energy Bureau to help Wausau re-engineer its homebuilding line. The changes included design to the homes, installation practices on the factory floor, and selection of new, high-efficiency components. Tests for the Energy StarTM certification are now for the whole line of homes built by Wausau.