A New Energy Saving Design... Affordable Housing Goes Green First-time homebuyers usually don’t think about energy efficiency when searching for that first house new home— but they should, because lower utility bills can give homeowners a break. After securing a U.S. Department of Energy grant, the Nebraska Energy Office teamed with Steven Winter Associates of Norwalk, Connecticut, to capitalize on green opportunities in the first-time homebuyer market, which has a history of being neither energy- nor building america logoresource-efficient. Through theU.S. Department of Energy’s Building America program and the Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings, Steven Winter Associates is assisting in the design and construction of a prototype home that will benchmark energy-efficient, affordable housing in Nebraska. The home will employ lessons learned from Building America efforts elsewhere, including plenum truss technology, which provides a cavity for mechanical ductwork. This eliminates the need for soffits and dropped ceilings while retaining the ductwork inside the conditioned envelope. The plenum truss adds flexibility to the home design, which can be built on either a full basement or slab without affecting the duct layout or system performance. green built home plaqueAs designed, the home complies with the requirements of the home_const/greenbuilthomes.htm">Nebraska Green Building program and features a tight envelope, a built in recycling center, high-efficiency cooling and heating systems, low-flow shower heads andEnergyStar appliances. Once the prototype home breaks ground in the fall of 2004, the construction site will be a training ground for builders, subcontractors and suppliers. Testing and monitoring of the home’s overall energy performance will begin after construction has been completed in the spring of 2005. The Nebraska affordable home is scheduled to be open to the public during the Spring 2005 Parade of Homes in Lincoln. To learn about this project:
  • http://www.eere.energy.gov/state_energy_program/project_detail.cfm/sp_id=618">U.S. Department of Energy summary of the Nebraska project
  • http://www.swinter.com/">Steven Winter Associates
  • mailto:lchamber%40mail%2estate%2ene%2eus">Lynn Chamberlin, Nebraska Energy Office, phone 402.471.3358
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