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BA-PIRC Partnership for
Gulf Coast High Performance Affordable Housing Demonstration Project

Louisiana and Alabama

As a policy, the Building America program provides technical assistance to and conducts research with the home building industry but does not contribute funds for actual construction. The Department of Energy (DOE) made a special allowance for a limited number of high performance affordable demonstration houses built in partnership wit h Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the Gulf Coast region. Building America funds were used to pay for incremental costs and additional staff time needed to implement a package of improvements determined through the systems engineering process.

Given the tremendous opportunity for rebuilding the Gulf Coast better, DOE provided abundant technical resources to builders in the region. However, in the extremely challenging post-disaster environment, builders were reluctant to embrace any unnecessary change – such as changing from conventional, code-compliant practices to Building America’s proven approach to building homes that save 30% in whole house energy use. By paying for the staff time and first costs, in addition to standard technical assistance, Building America mitigated the risk of failure inherent in change.

Building America leveraged the experience of the builders directly involved by conducting a workshop for the local home building community that included a classroom session and a field visit to the demonstration homes under construction. This helped builders and contractors understand how to implement the improvement strategies and principals in the homes they build.

The Gulf Coast High Performance Affordable Housing Demonstration homes were built by:

  • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge (Louisiana)
  • New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (Louisiana)
  • East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity (Louisiana)
  • Habitat for Humanity of Mobile County (Alabama)

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