DOE Offers Guide to Building Energy Efficient Homes in the Southwest

May 31, 2005

DOE has issued a free guide to the construction of energy-efficient homes in the arid climate of the southwestern United States, a region that stretches west from central Texas and the Oklahoma panhandle, encompasses southern New Mexico and Arizona (including parts of Colorado, Utah, and Nevada), and extends into the non-coastal parts of California, continuing north to near the Oregon border. The second guide in the Building America Best Practices series, "Volume 2: Hot-Dry, Mixed-Dry," released on May 31st, addresses the challenge of maximizing energy efficiency while preserving the comfort of homes in both hot and dry climates and in dry climates with a mix of hot and cold weather. Equipped with this guide, builders and homeowners will be able to build high-quality, energy-efficient homes in such climates, saving 30 percent in space conditioning and water heating each year. See the DOE press release.

As part of a continuing effort to provide consumers guidance on saving money through improving home energy efficiency, DOE's regional building guides offer tips to families and contractors on how to build energy-saving homes in different climates across the country. Volume 1 of the Best Practices series, focusing on construction in the hot and humid climate of the South, was published earlier this year. Upcoming releases in this series will include an edition on cold climates, available June 22nd; an edition on humid climates with a mix of hot and cold weather, available July 29th; and an edition on marine climates for coastal and island locations, available in early 2006. The guides are being developed by DOE's Building America program, which conducts and sponsors research and development in building technologies aimed at improving the comfort and efficiency of U.S. homes. For more details and to download these guides, see the Building America Web site.