Nationwide Snapshot [report]

Terry S. Mapes, Megan M. Iverson, Linda L. Fassbender, Michelle L. Britt
2011 unpublished
The purpose of this effort was to create a nationwide snapshot of the current residential building practices in the United States, and to identify trends in building practices as they relate to building energy efficiency. Information on typical insulation levels, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) efficiencies, window profiles, and other residential building components and assemblies provided a foundation for 1) identifying trends in residential building practices over time, 2)
more » ... sessing energyefficiency improvements in single-family homes over time and correlating them with the applicable building energy codes if possible, and 3) identifying building energy code adoption and compliance needs. This report seeks to identify trends in the residential building practice from 1996 to 2009. In the beginning of the project, the staff intended to survey building departments, and gather residential construction data across the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) climate zones in areas of substantial growth throughout that past ten years. Limitations on conducting surveys on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy led the team to purchase the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Builder Practices Reports. NAHB data was obtained for 1996, 1999, 2004, and 2009 that reflected changes in building practices over the course of four published energy codes. The NAHB mails an Annual Builder Practices Survey to a random sample of home builders nationwide every year. The NAHB tabulates survey responses to provide estimates of building materials and equipment used in residential construction throughout the country. Data are compiled for the nine geographical census divisions. The data showed changes in building practices with regard to windows, ducts and insulation that could be potentially attributed to building energy codes. However, as collected and tabulated, the data did not significantly indicate trends that could be directed attributed to building energy codes in general, nor the evolution of building energy codes from the 1992 MEC through the 2009 IECC. There appear to be two reasons for this: The questionnaires were not designed to correlate with aspects of construction that directly corresponded to the building energy codes, and secondly the geographical census divisions do not correlate well to climate zones. In the future, use of the data from the web-based REScheck tool and the BECP Score and Store™ online tool which is available to states for storing building evaluation data collected in the field should provide more useful data on building trends specifically related to building energy codes. There may also be value in evaluating NAHB data in tandem with BECP stored data. v
doi:10.2172/1033080 fatcat:ubt25oymcnga3hjtgz5dpautze