When two Gainesville homebuilders were honored by the U.S. Department
of Energy (DOE) in April for their commitment to building energy-efficient
homes, it was also public recognition of FSEC, since the Center has
led the Building America team that works with these builders since
| Mr. Steve Chalk (center), Deputy
Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy at DOE, Mr.
Bill Haslebacher (right) with DOE's National Energy Technology
Laboratory and home energy rater Ken Fonorow of Florida
H.E.R.O. (Building America team member) review insulation
details of a Building America home under construction.
The DOE Building America program is a nationwide research and technical
assistance partnership that brings together teams of energy-efficiency
experts to work with homebuilders. The goal of the program is
to cost-effectively reduce whole-house energy use by 20 percent or
more compared to code minimum homes while improving indoor air quality,
durability, and comfort.
G.W. Robinson Builders, Inc., and Tommy Williams Homes were honored
by DOE for their leadership in making their homes energy-efficient. Robinson
has been working with Building America since 2001 and his CobbleField
community of 265 homes was the first in Florida to have all the homes
meet the Building America standards. The company has now built
more than 350 Building America homes. Tommy Williams has been
a Building America builder since 2004 and has built more than 180
homes to Building America standards so far.
Among the features typically found in these builders’ homes
are double-pane, low-e vinyl frame windows, extensive use of compact
fluorescent bulbs, high-efficiency HVAC equipment with properly sized
equipment and ductwork that ensures outstanding comfort, R-30 ceiling
insulation and indoor air quality features that include ducted exhaust
fans, air handlers in conditioned spaces and air sealing to reduce
infiltration. Detailed features on the builders’ homes can be
found at http://www.baihp.org/baday.htm/.
| Mr. Steve Chalk (center) gets a look
at behind the scenes features that go into exemplary
Building America homes with G. W. Robinson (left) and
Bill Howard (right) both of G. W. Robinson Builders,
Inc. - one of the two Building America partners recognized
for building homes that meet Building America standards.
The results of these features are Home Energy Index scores
significantly better than those required for ENERGY STAR® status. The
systems engineering and rating of each of these homes is performed
by the Florida Home Energy Resources Organization in a cost-shared
partnership with the builders and FSEC.
Presenting awards to the builders at the April 25 ceremony was Steve
Chalk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy at DOE. William
Haslebacher of DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory was
also on hand for the ceremony. Subrato Chandra, director of
the FSEC Building America project, noted that “All of us on
the FSEC team are very proud to be a part of this effort. Our
research efforts are helping DOE and this program and it’s clear
that many builders all over the country are following the Building
America program and its guidelines. It’s a win-win for
everyone, since the consumer gets a home that is very comfortable
with low utility costs and improved indoor air quality, and the builder
gets a more marketable product while we all make a significant contribution
to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. I’m just so proud
that FSEC has been a key player in this program over the years.”
More information on the Building America team led by FSEC, along
with case studies of other energy-efficient homes, is available at www.baihp.org/.