Pre-retrofit Connected to Attic at Open Ceiling & Open Frame Return Plenum
Post-retrofit Isolated from Attic by Finished Drywall & Ducted/Sealed Return
Improve Home Performance at Renovation
Q: Is it possible to make our existing homes "as good as new" in terms of home performance?

A: That's the Retrofit Challenge! And the Retrofit Challenge Best Practices can help you do just that. They provide cost-effective master specifications gleaned from a 4 year, affordable housing renovation field study in central Florida. Renovation and repair tasks are addressed individually. The checklist language is tailored for writing bid documents. Adopt the whole checklist as master specifications. Then, for a specific house, select the applicable specifications and include the measures needed for controlling air, heat, and moisture flow - the core of high performance homes. The end result is a package of health, safety, and durability measures; moderately higher performance replacements; and efficiency enhancements.

More about the Retrofit Challenge:

New Software Tool for Renovation Program Managers
Housing Developer Pro (HDP) software from Community Development Software LLC is used by many local government housing entities in the southeast to develop bid documents for renovations and repairs. Now the Retrofit Challenge Best Practices Checklist can be imported directly into the software to be used as applicable on the bid documents for any job. Open the Adobe Acrobat file (11-10 Retrofit Challenge - spec_listing.pdf) to preview the HDP Checklist. Download and import the Housing Developer Pro file (11-10 Retrofit Challenge.hsf) to have these Retrofit Challenge Best Practices at your fingertips every day.

Case Studies

Lake Sumter Habitat for Humanity
Lake Sumter Habitat for Humanity purchased and renovated the unoccupied 1,040 ft2 slab-on-grade, single family ranch home in Eustis, Florida to demonstrate that low-income housing can be affordably renovated to achieve big savings. With the help of Building America researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Florida Solar Energy Center, energy-efficient measures were implemented that reduced annual energy bills by an estimated 42%.

Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County
Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County, working with Building America researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Florida Solar Energy Center, upgraded this previously unoccupied 1996 home in Lake Worth, Florida to achieve an estimated 39% improvement in energy efficiency. The 1,573-ft2 slab-on-grade, single-family home received extensive energy upgrades during its conversion to affordable and efficient housing for low-income families.

Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota County
Building America researchers provided technical assistance to Habitat for Humanity of South Sarasota County, Florida, to achieve a deep energy retrofit featuring an innovative way to air seal an entire home, which also moved its ducts and air handler inside the thermal boundary. This home (a 1978, single-story, three-bedroom, two-bath with attached-garage) is typical of many in central and south Florida, and Building America plans to use monitored utility data from the home to analyze the effectiveness of the energy retrofit measures.

Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County, Florida: Existing Home Retrofit 1
Renovation of this unoccupied, foreclosed, single-family detached home in Melbourne, Florida was completed by Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County, Inc. The home was built in 1964 and has 1,608 square feet of conditioned space. Key energy efficiencies included the installation of high efficiency windows, the use of efficient lighting almost exclusively, and an increase in ceiling insulation to R-38.














For more information: contact Janet McIlvaine at 321-638-1434 or email