DOE Releases Building Best Practices Handbook for Marine Climates

December 6, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building America program today announced the release of the fifth volume in its series of regional best practices handbooks for builders, which provides useful tips builders and homebuyers can take to increase efficiency in the marine climate zone.  The publication, Builders and Buyers Handbook for Improving New Home Efficiency, Comfort, and Durability in the Marine Climate, specifically outlines steps builders can take to reach 30 percent energy savings in space heating and cooling, and water heating by implementing the Building America process (savings based on the 1993 Model Energy Code standards).  

“The Department of Energy’s Marine Climate booklet provides builders with a full spectrum of knowledge to help increase energy efficiency and save costs while also taking into account the climate’s unique challenges and opportunities,” DOE Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner said.  “While the Energy Department is eager to see the booklet’s building tips implemented, we continue to research and improve the latest innovations to provide a balance of energy efficiency, cost and comfort.”  

The publication also contains chapters for every member of the builder’s team, including supervisors, architects, designers, site developers, marketers, managers and homeowners.  Many of the building tips and information are illustrated with real-life case studies of builders who design and construct energy-efficient homes in the marine climate zone.  

The marine climate zone is a region that includes a narrow band along the West Coast from the Canadian border south to the boundary between Ventura and Los Angeles counties in California.  For more information about the Marine Climate Best Practices guide, download the document from the Building America website: http://www.buildingamerica.gov.   

The Building America program is comprised of public/private partnerships that conduct systems research to improve overall housing performance, increase housing durability and comfort, reduce energy use and increase energy security for America’s homeowners, with a goal of achieving net zero-energy homes by 2020.  This series of handbooks was developed with the help of Building America contributors, including DOE’s Pacific Northwest and Oak Ridge National Laboratories; a number of energy consortia; and stakeholders and universities nationwide.