In its recent annual survey of U.S. homebuilders, Home Innovation Research Labs asked builders about their biggest challenges with a common industry painpoint: meeting current energy codes. In an excerpt from his review of the responses on Builder, Home Innovation’s market research director, Ed Hudson, finds that many of the challenges could be solved or at least partially addressed with better education and training.
“A frequent comment was that subcontractors are not adequately trained to implement the energy improvements required by building code,” he says. “Builders said they often resort to personally training subs and overseeing their work.” He adds that builders are faced with too many options and not enough knowledge to optimize the selection of systems and materials. So they’re stymied on knowing where to begin: A more-efficient envelope? More-efficient HVAC systems? Solar energy?
Several resources developed by the Propane Education & Research Council can help builders cut through the noise to start developing straightforward paths to energy code compliance.
- Our fact sheet on designing for code and above-code homes highlights opportunities to use propane to add design flexibility in meeting 2015 IECC standards and other programs, such as Energy Star Homes and LEED for Homes.
- “Introduction to Net Zero Energy Homes and Opportunities to Leverage High Efficiency Propane Systems” is a training course geared to help builders understand how zero net energy (ZNE) homes are defined and develop ZNE design strategies — a topic that could become increasingly important as other states join California in adopting ZNE requirements.
- This ZNE infographic provides an at-a-glance strategy for designing ZNE homes with the help of propane appliances.