Building America 2013 Technical Update Meeting

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America program held its fourth annual Technical Update meeting on April 29-30, 2013, in Denver, Colorado. This meeting showcased world-class building science expertise for high performance homes in a dynamic format that addressed eight key critical questions facing the building industry today. This Technical Update Meeting combined expert presentations, panel discussions, and audience participation to update the industry on the latest technologies and practices.

View the meeting presentations below, which are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. The meeting summary report will be available soon. You can also view the complete webinar recordings for Day 1 (WMV 102 MB) and Day 2 (WMV 93 MB).

Meeting Presentations

Update on U.S. Department of Energy Residential Program Priorities

Critical Question #1: How Do We Retrofit the Tough Buildings?

What are strategies in designing air sealing and insulation solutions for energy retrofits of the more challenging buildings? What are some examples of durable solutions that are relatively inexpensive? What hasn't worked and why? What looks promising?

Critical Question #2: What are the Best Practices for Ventilation Specific to Multifamily Buildings?

What is the best practice to address ASHRAE 62.2 Addendum J (multifamily)? Why is exhaust only (with supply in hallway) the current standard practice? Are there options to avoid air exchange with neighbors? How do stack and wind pressures affect ventilation performance in multifamily homes? What systems actually function as intended and can be implemented by builders and contractors?

Critical Question #3: What are the Best Options for All-Electric Homes?

In moving toward net zero energy homes, the challenge of specifying components for all-electric homes is inevitable. In this case, what are the most cost-effective and reliable options for water heating and space conditioning?

Critical Question #4: What are the Best Off-the-Shelf HVAC Solutions for Low-Load, High-Performance Homes and Apartments?

What is currently in the market? What are the limitations of these systems? What are the desired specifications for these systems? What are the realistic space conditioning loads of these high-performance homes and apartments?

Critical Question #5: What are Recent Innovations in Air Distribution Systems?

The majority of heating systems are forced air. What kinds of innovations have been developed to make these systems more efficient?

Critical Question #6: What are the Challenges and Solutions for Modeling Multifamily Buildings?

There are a lot of differences between modeling single-family and multifamily buildings in regard to central systems, shared walls, shared spaces, etc. What is the best way to optimize energy efficiency packages? How does Building America work around the challenges of modeling these buildings? What tools do they have? What additions could improve the accuracy of simulation tools?

Critical Question #7: What are the Best Practices for Single-Family Ventilation in All Climate Regions?

Why ventilate? What are the ultimate goals of ventilation requirements in codes and standards? What are the characteristics of an effective ventilation system in new vs. existing construction? What are the risks and solutions associated with ventilation in hot-humid climates?

Critical Question #8: When are Heat Pump Water Heaters the Best Solution?

What do we know about actual performance compared to promised performance? What is the best way to manage the space conditioning impacts on a home? Is there an easy decision tree for deciding if this is the best solution for a particular home (Climate? Utility prices? Accessibility? Physical space constraints? Workforce?)?

Key Issues

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