U.S. Department of Energy’s Builders Challenge Version 2 Draft Specifications: Why Another Homebuilder Label for Raters?

December 12th, 2011 - Posted by RESNET under RESNET Notes- December 2011

Builders Challenge is the Department of Energy’s (DOE) label for leading edge builders who employ high-performance home innovations coming from the Building America research program. The purpose of this label is to help establish proven technologies and best practices and to build an infrastructure for delivering them to the housing industry.

DOE has released draft Builders Challenge Version 2 specifications for public review.  These new specifications are scheduled to be finalized and take effect for all homes permitted after April 1, 2012.

The most significant change from Version 1 is full alignment with ENERGY STAR for Homes Version 3 specifications. This includes a variable HERS Index Score performance threshold based on a Builders Challenge Reference Design with a size adjustment factor. Generally, Builders Challenge certified homes will need to achieve a HERS Index Score of 60 or lower. Also of significance are proposed mandatory requirements including more rigorous thermal envelope measures, ducts inside the conditioned space, and checklists from other related EPA programs (e.g., Indoor airPLUS, WaterSense for indoor fixtures and hot water distribution, and Renewable Energy Ready Home).

DOE expects Builders Challenge Version 2 to provide HERS raters with another powerful differentiation tool to offer existing and new builder clients in this soft housing market.

RESNET will be hosting a webinar on the proposed Builders Challenge Version specifications on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. (Eastern), 2:00 p.m. (Central), 1:00 p.m. (Mountain) and Noon (Pacific).  This webinar will present these key technical specifications, new implementation procedures, and DOE’s strategy for engaging homebuilders. To register to participate in the webinar click on RESNET Builders Challenge Webinar

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