The Building Technologies Office (BTO) collaborates with home builders, energy professionals, state and local governments, utilities, product manufacturers, educators, and researchers to improve the energy efficiency of both new and existing homes. The Building Technologies Office’s Multi-Year Program Plan for Fiscal Years 2016-2020 provides a roadmap of our strategies and goals for significantly reducing building energy use intensity.
Residential Sector Activities Include:
Demonstrating to builders and remodelers how to build and renovate for high performance through best practice guides and case studies and continuing to developing innovative whole-house energy efficiency solutions through Building America research projects. We also provide guidelines and tools for researchers conducting building related research projects.
Promoting a trusted, whole-house process for upgrading existing homes with Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®.
Launching a new national energy efficiency rating—the Home Energy Score—that helps a homeowner compare their home's performance to other homes located in the same climate.
Recognizing high performance homes and leading builders with the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program.
Encouraging the next generation design innovative homes through DOE’s Race to Zero Student Design Competition. Participating students will be provided with the skills and experience to start careers in the field of clean energy and to generate creative solutions to real-world problems.
We also work with educators to develop tomorrow's building science curricula and standards and specifications like Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals that will help foster growth of a qualified workforce.
Collaborating with manufacturers on research of emerging products, building components and whole building technical barriers to energy efficiency and strengthening energy efficient building codes and appliance standards.
Benefits and Results
RBI’s programs have been helping the American people save energy and money through building energy efficiency programs for years. Since 1995, the Building America program, which conducts innovative housing research on energy efficiency to benefit the residential building industry and the public, has helped American households save up to $54 billion and avoid 500 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The Residential Building Integration’s programs are continuing innovative and collaborative opportunities to improve the comfort, durability, and indoor air quality of American homes, all while saving energy costs and reducing emissions.
- Since 2012, nearly 8,000 homes across the United States have met the energy efficiency criteria of DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home (formerly Builder’s Challenge) initiative. Homes that meet the Zero Energy Ready Home criteria are approximately 40% more energy efficient than a typical new home built to code.
- The Better Buildings Residential Network is a national membership network connecting energy efficiency programs and partners to share best practices to increase the number of energy-efficient homes. The BBRN has grown to 243 members who reported over 32,000 energy upgrades in 2014.
- Over 550,000 homes have been retrofitted under the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program since its inception, with upgraded homes achieving 25% reductions in energy use intensity.
- The Building America Research Program has led to numerous innovations and cost reductions in technology that make programs like EPA's ENERGY STAR and DOE's Zero Energy Ready Home affordable and ready for market adoption.