Building or retrofitting a green home can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance, it can be a rewarding experience. The U. S. Department of Energy's Office of Building Technologies provides resources to help planners, designers, and owners focus on energy use objectives from the early planning stages to post-modernization monitoring.
This article will provide an overview of the guidance available for building or retrofitting a green home.
Seal All Accessible Openings and PenetrationsThe first step in building or retrofitting a green home is to seal all accessible openings and penetrations in the building envelope. This will help reduce air leakage and improve energy efficiency. Department of Energy's CPD Green Modernization Checklist promotes energy efficiency and green building, and provides guidance on how to carry out energy efficient modernization.
Energy Modeling SoftwareEnergy modeling software can be used to identify the most impactful measurements through simulations. This software can also be used to make fact-based procurement decisions during a modernization.
The Technology Portal provided by the Office of Building Technologies is a great resource for this.
Government ResourcesThe Office of Building Technologies provides several government resources that can be used when building or retrofitting a green home. These include:
- Reference Commercial Buildings: Explore the energy models that characterize 70% of commercial buildings in the United States and use this information as benchmarks to develop energy performance objectives.
- Advanced Energy Modernization Guidelines: These guidelines describe how to carry out energy efficient modernization.
- Building Improvement Manual: Use this strategic guide to plan and implement cost-effective and energy-efficient building improvements.
- EnergyPlus: Use this whole-building energy simulation program to model and optimize your buildings' energy and water use.
- Mandatory Modernization Programs: The City of Los Angeles recently approved Ordinance 183893, which requires the modernization of soft-floor, wood-framed buildings prior to 1978 and non-ductile concrete buildings.