International Builder's Show Features Energy-Efficient Homes

January 19, 2005

The 2005 International Builders' Show—held in Orlanda, Florida, by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)—concluded on January 16th after exposing builders to the latest in energy efficiency for the home, including three showcases for energy efficiency technologies: the Not So Big Showhouse, the New American Home, and the PATH Tutorial Townhouses.

The 2,900-square-foot Not So Big Showhouse was conceived by architect Sarah Susanka, whose best-selling book "The Not So Big House" introduced a "build better, not bigger" approach to home design. Three of DOE's Building America teams collaborated on the Susanka-designed house using a "building as a system" approach to design, specify, and plan the construction of the home. The walls are made of structural insulated panels (SIPS), which feature a core of foam insulation sandwiched between two oriented strand boards. The tightly sealed building envelope is combined with state-of-the-art cooling and ventilation, and the home also features a solar electric system and a solar hot water system with a tankless water heater as a backup. See the Not So Big Showhouse Web site and the press release from Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (PDF 126 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

Photo of the New American Home.

The New American Home will use 47 percent less energy for heating and cooling than a traditionally constructed house of a similar size in the same climate.
Credit: NAHB

In contrast to the Not So Big Showhouse, NAHB's New American Home, a two-story Mediterranean design, measures 9,036 square feet. To keep it from being a natural gas guzzler, the Integrated Building and Construction Solutions (IBACOS) Consortium, in partnership with DOE's Building America Program, provided design and engineering support to ensure maximum energy efficiency. The home will be Energy Star rated and will use 47 percent less energy for heating and cooling and 64 percent less energy for water heating than a traditionally constructed house of a similar size in the same climate. Homeowners will be able to control lights and window shades from anywhere in the house. See the NAHB press release, and for additional information, see the Building America brochure (PDF 1.1 MB), the International Builder's Show Web site, and the IBACOS Web site.

Last but not least, the Partnership for Advanced Technology in Housing (PATH) built its two-unit PATH Tutorial Townhouses at the International Builder's Show. The modular townhouses feature such technologies as high-efficiency heat pumps; tankless water heaters; and Energy Star-rated insulation levels, windows, doors, lighting, appliances, and electronic devices. See the PATH announcement.