The Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a series of best practices and case studies to help builders improve whole-house energy performance in buildings found in mixed-humid climates.
Best Practice Guides
Optimized Climate Solutions Tool
The Building America Solution Center now offers Optimized Climate Solutions, sets of climate-specific measures that builders can use to achieve energy savings of about 30% over the Building America B10 Benchmark (which is roughly consistent with the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code). The mixed-humid climate package of measures meets and exceeds DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home program requirements. These measures were selected to help builders achieve high performance in energy savings, affordability, buildability, durability, and healthy indoor environment.
New Construction Case Studies
See examples of whole-house solutions for new homes throughout the U.S. mixed-humid climate zone.
Project: Hydronic Heating Coil Versus Propane Furnace — Rehoboth Beach
Builder: Insight Homes
Profile: In this project involving two new homes, IBACOS evaluated the performance of the two space conditioning systems and the modeled efficiency of the two tankless domestic hot water systems relative to actual occupant use.
Project: Deep Creek — Seaford
Builder: Insight Homes
Profile: This builder worked with IBACOS to design HERS-49 homes with high-efficiency HVAC, ducts in insulated crawl spaces, raised heel trusses, dehumidifiers, and central manifold plumbing.
Project: Urbane Homes — Louisville
Builder: Urbane Homes
Profile: This builder worked with National Association of Home Builders Research Center to build HERS-57 homes with rigid foam insulated slabs and foundation walls, advanced framed walls, high-efficiency heat pumps, and ducts in conditioned space.
Project: Nexus EnergyHomes — Frederick
Builder: Nexus EnergyHomes
Profile: This new duplex home successfully combines affordability with state-of-the-art efficiency and indoor environmental quality, achieving the highest rating possible under the National Green Building Standard.
Project: North Point Lot 5 — Frederick
Builder: Nexus EnergyHomes
Profile: This DOE Challenge Home winner, an urban infill community with 24 duplexes, 19 townhomes, and 7 single-family homes features SIP walls, geothermal heat pumps, solar PV, and a proprietary energy management system.
Project: Winchester Homes and Camberly Homes - Silver Spring
Builder: Winchester Homes and Camberly Homes
Profile: The Partnership for Home Innovation team worked with the builder to develop a new set of high performance home designs—including advanced wall and HVAC systems—that could be applicable on a production scale.
Project: The Legends at Mansfiield - Columbus
Builder: Tindall Homes
Profile: The builder worked with IBACOS to build 20 HERS-58 homes with R-49 mixed attic insulation, poly-iso foam in advanced framed walls, precast concrete basement walls with rigid foam, tight airsealing, and HRV.
Project: EXIT-0 House - North Cape May
Builder: John Hubert Associates
Profile: This house is the first DOE Zero Energy Ready Home for this builder and won a Custom Builder award in the 2014 Housing Innovation Awards. The 1,871-ft2 home features advanced-framed above-grade walls with R-21 fiberglass batt plus an R-3.6-insulated coated OSB sheathing, R-18 rigid-foam-insulated crawlspace walls, solar water heating, a high-efficiency heat pump, an HRV, and mostly LED lighting.
Project: Eco-Friendly Home — Sagaponack
Builder: Ferguson Design and Construction
Profile: This house incorporates double walls with staggered studs, poured-in concrete basement, and double-pane, argon-filled windows.
Project: Gross-Shepard Residence — Charlottesville
Builder: Promethean Homes
Profile: This is the first DOE Zero Energy Ready Home for this builder, who earned a Custom Builder honor in the 2014 Housing Innovation Awards. The home included rigid mineral wool board insulation over house wrap and plywood on the 2x6 advanced framed walls, achieving HERS 33 without PV.
Existing Homes Case Studies
See examples of whole-house solutions for existing homes throughout the U.S. mixed-humid climate zone.
Project: Sasha Bruce Youthwork Group Home — Washington, D.C.
Building Components: HVAC, air sealing, envelope, windows, lighting, appliances
Profile: This project marks the first Building America group home retrofit, which achieved 44% energy savings using cost-effective and readily available materials and systems in a very brief timeframe.
Project: Bay Ridge Gardens—Mixed Humid Affordable Multifamily Housing Deep Energy Retrofit — Annapolis
Building Components: Envelope, HVAC, lighting, domestic hot water
Profile: Approximately 43% energy savings are achieved in a 1970s multifamily building through standard, non-invasive retrofit measures.
Project: 56th and Walnut: A Gut Philly Rehab
Builder: Columbus Property Management and Development, Inc. (CPM)
Profile: In this project, CPM partnered with the Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings team to renovate 32 units in 11 three-story, historic, brick masonry urban buildings.
You may also find case studies and guides that work across all climates on the All Climates page.
For additional, updated information on hundreds of building science topics that can help you build or retrofit to the most recent high-performance construction criteria, including the latest version of ENERGY STAR and the DOE Challenge Home requirements, see the Building America Solution Center.