Adopt Best Practices for Deep Energy Savings in Existing Homes
Start Here! Action Plan
Take the Pledge
Retrofit Challenge Checklist
Full Best Practices Report
Energy Retrofit Field Study
Applying Best Practices Report
Retrofit Challenge Partners
Solar and Energy Loan Fund
SE Volusia Habitat for Humanity
Arcadia-Desoto Habitat for Humanity
St. Johns Housing Partnership
HFH South Sarasota County
Manatee County Habitat for Humanity
Average HERS Index Improvement by Vintage in
Are you involved with remodeling, renovation, or home performance? Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) researchers worked with 10 affordable housing programs to develop cost-effective “current best practices” for the central Florida market. The Retrofit Challenge is to implement the best practices and adopt them as program-wide or standard master specifications. They include moderately higher performance specifications at equipment replacement, efficiency enhancements, and building science measures that address combustion safety, durability, and moisture management. A 70 house study shows that when fully implemented, they produce approximately 25% in projected annual energy cost savings. The whole house efficiency, as gauged on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, is similar to homes built under Florida’s current energy code. Essentially, these homes are “as good as new” from a performance standpoint.
Please read about some of the successful implementations of the Retrofit Challenge detailed in the case studies below. Check out the Action Plan (see Start Here! at right).
As of January 1, 2015, the Retrofit Challenge became a self-guided initiative. Participants may submit a pledge, but researchers are no longer funded to support the process. Regardless, ample information is provided in the available materials on this webpage. We strongly recommend that you work with a RESNET certified HERS rater or other building science professional as you consider adoption of the best practices as master specifications.
|Retrofit Challenge in the Press|
How Do We Solve a Problem Like Retrofit Performance?
Affordable, Practical, “Off The Shelf” Best Practices
Health, Safety, and Durability Measures (Risk Reduction):
|Applying Best Practices to Florida Government Retrofit Programs
During 2009, 2010, and 2011, researchers of DOE’s Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction (BA-PIRC) provided analysis and recommendations to eight affordable housing entities conducting comprehensive renovations in 70 distressed, foreclosed homes in central Florida (Phase 1). Partners achieved a mutually agreed upon goal of 30% improvement in HERS Index score in 46 renovations.
|Pilot Demonstration of Phased Retrofits in Existing Florida Homes
The Florida Solar Energy Center and Florida Power and Light are pursuing a collaborative energy research /utility partnership to retrofit a large number of homes using a phased approach. The project is creating detailed data on the energy and economic performance of two levels of home retrofit – simple and deep. Acting as a pilot, this project is expected to provide the information necessary to significantly reduce energy use through much larger community-scale projects in collaboration with utilities, program administrators and other market leader stakeholders.
|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 Palm Beach County, Florida: Existing Home Retrofit
This renovation of an unoccupied, foreclosed, single-family detached home in Lake Worth, Florida was initiated in 2011 by Habitat for Humanity Palm Beach County, Inc. Built in 2003, this three bedroom, two bath, frame construction home has 1,373 square feet of conditioned space. A test-in audit was conducted to document the home’s pre-retrofit characteristics, which served as the retrofit base case model. The home had many energy efficient elements incorporated into its original construction.
|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.
|Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County, Florida: Existing Home Retrofit 2
This renovation of an unoccupied, foreclosed, single-family detached home in Melbourne, Florida was initiated by Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County, Inc. Built in 1962, this three bedroom, two bath home has 1,583 square feet of conditioned space. Measures with the most significant contribution to projected energy cost savings included the installation of low-E windows, the reduction in house and duct leakage, and the installation of R-38 ceiling insulation, respectively.
|High Performance Residential Retrofits - Florida and Alabama
In 2009, a Department of Energy Building America team led by the Florida Solar Energy Center began working with eight local government and non-profit partners to find costeffective
paths for improving the energy performance of existing homes in the hot humid climate.
For more information: contact Janet McIlvaine at 321-638-1434 or email firstname.lastname@example.org