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* FSEC Seeks Partners for the Retrofit Challenge *

Average HERS Index Improvement by Vintage in
70-Home Study






Are you involved with remodeling, renovation, or home performance? The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) researchers are looking for partners to "test drive" best practices under a recently launched initiative - the Retrofit Challenge. The initiative’s cost-effective measures include moderately higher performance specifications at equipment replacement, efficiency enhancements, and building science measures that address combustion safety, durability, and moisture management.

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). Then please join the Retrofit Challenge by taking the Pledge!

Retrofit Challenge in the Press

How Do We Solve a Problem Like Retrofit Performance?
Energy Design Update, Vol. 34, No. 3 - March 2014

Good Intentions, Unintended Consequences (Part 1)

Energy Design Update, Vol. 34, No. 6 - June 2014

Good Intentions, Unintended Consequences (Part 2)
Energy Design Update, Vol. 34, No. 7 - July 2014

Affordable, Practical, “Off The Shelf” Best Practices

Health, Safety, and Durability Measures (Risk Reduction):
- Combustion safety
- Whole house pressure balance

Moderately higher performance replacements:
- Heating & cooling system (SEER 15 heat pump)
- Windows (low‐E)
- Water heating (EF 0.92)
- ENERGY STAR lighting, appliances, and ceiling fans
- Light or white exterior finishes
- Meet new construction code for heating and cooling

Efficiency Enhancements:
- Substantially leak free duct system
- R‐38 attic insulation
- Window film
- Air sealing at plumbing and fixtures openings


Click image for larger view

 

Seventy-Home Retrofit Field Study
Pre- and Post Retrofit HERS Index


   

Case Studies

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 in 2011 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 in 2011 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.


Reports

Author,
Date
Publications

McIlvaine,
Sutherland
12/13
Applying Best Practices to Florida Local Government Retrofit Programs
BA-PIRC worked together in a multiyear field study making recommendations in individual homes, meanwhile compiling improvement costs, projected energy savings, practical challenges, and labor force factors surrounding common energy-related renovation measures. The field study, Phase 1 of this research, resulted in a set of best practices appropriate to the current labor pool and market conditions in central Florida to achieve projected annual energy savings of 15%-30% and higher. This report describes Phase 2 of the work where researchers worked with a local government partner to implement and refine the "current best practices".

McIlvaine, Saunders
7/13
The Next Step Toward Widespread Residential Deep Energy Retrofits
The complexity of deep energy retrofits warrants additional training to successfully manage multiple improvements that will change whole house air, heat, and moisture flow dynamics. The home performance contracting industry has responded to these challenges by aggregating skilled labor for assessment of and implementation under one umbrella. Two emerging business models are profiled that seek to resolve many of the challenges, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats described for the conventional business models

McIlvaine,
Sutherland
3/13
Energy Retrofit Field Study and Best Practices in a Hot-Humid Climate
Energy efficiency improvement as a component of comprehensive renovation was investigated under U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding of the Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction (BA-PIRC). Researchers at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) worked with affordable housing partners renovating foreclosed homes built from the 1950's through the 2000's in the hot-humid climate (within the Southern census region), primarily in Florida. Researchers targeted a 30% improvement in whole-house energy efficiency along with the health and safety, durability, and comfort guidelines outlined in DOE's Builders Challenge Program (Version 1) Quality Criteria.

Fairey,
Parker
11/12
Cost Effectiveness of Home Energy Retrofits in Pre-Code Vintage Homes in the United States
This analytical study examined the opportunities for cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits in residential archetypes constructed before 1980 (Pre-Code) in 14 U.S. cities. These cities represent each International Energy Conservation Code climate zone in the contiguous United States. The analysis was conducted using an in-house version of EnergyGauge USA v.2.8.05 named CostOpt that was programmed to perform iterative, incremental economic optimization on a long list of residential energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofit measures.

McIlvaine, Sutherland, 08/10
Exploring Cost-Effective, High Performance Residential Retrofits for Affordable Housing in the Hot Humid Climate
A Department of Energy Building America team led by the Florida Solar Energy Center began working with partners to find cost-effective paths for improving the energy performance of existing homes in the hot humid climate. A test-in audit and energy use modeling of the partner's proposed renovation package was performed for 41 affordable and middle income foreclosed homes in Florida and Alabama. This paper presents the project's process including our findings thus far and highlights of the first home to meet the target HERS Index of 70.

For more information: contact Janet McIlvaine at 321-638-1434 or email janet@fsec.ucf.edu