New Construction Report Card, Part II

March/April 2003
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2003 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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March 01, 2003
Complex building designs make even the best-laid plans for home performance hard to fulfill.
        Building a house that is energy efficient, healthy, and comfortable is quite challenging (otherwise, Home Energy wouldn’t exist). House designs and building technologies are growing in complexity, increasing the difficulty of successfully integrating all the components into a workable system. A California Energy Commission (CEC)-sponsored project completed in 2002 involved detailed diagnostic testing of building envelopes and HVAC system performance to assess how key building components are being integrated in 60 new California production homes.         Results of the testing from the Residential Construction Quality Assessment (RCQA) project are valuable in quantifying the performance of these homes. They also provide information on various testing procedures and the assumptions used in the California building standards. Diagnostic techniques and visual inspections were used to assess duct leakage,HVAC system air flow, quality of insulation installation, envelope airtightness, and other building features that affect energy use and comfort.         A first set of 30 homes tested was selected to assess California leading-edge practitioners who are installing, testing, and verifying tight-duct distribution systems. The results of these tests, which were held from September 1999 to January 2000,were presented in ...

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