Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Leading builders recognized for transforming housing market

doe challenge home programThe inaugural DOE Housing Innovation Awards were presented on October 4, 2013 during the Solar Decathlon in Irvine, California. Nineteen DOE Challenge Home Builders were recognized for 21 amazing homes. Each one of these homes is highlighted in a case study.  Learn how these outstanding builders are leading the race to zero energy ready homes. You’ll find more about the winners and the program in the November issues of Fine Homebuilding and Professional Builder magazines.

Training in a city near you

Sam Rashkin and other talented trainers continue to tour the country delivering Zero Energy Ready Home training.  The training highlights the business case for building high performance homes as well as the technical details to construct these high quality homes.  Here are some upcoming training locations:

Find more events or suggest a location and host near you.

You deserve credit

Don’t forget to send in your DOE Challenge Home verification form to to get credit for your hard work on the partner locator.

Support for high achievers

State energy codes that exceed DOE Challenge Home always take precedence to determine compliance with the program.  In states where the residential provisions of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) have been adopted, and are therefore equivalent to some DOE Challenge Home requirements, the mandatory requirements will be updated to reflect the 2015 IECC within 6 months of the new code’s publication date. DOE will maintain a list of state-specific compliance requirements and timelines.  

Washington state requirements

To continue adding value beyond code, while including ENERGY STAR Northwest, we now have specific requirements for homes certified in Washington State.  This customized program for Washington, effective for homes permitted after January 1, 2014, helps leading builders continue to differentiate their homes in a very competitive market.

California requirements

Following a public review, DOE established California DOE Challenge Home Requirements, which go into effect for homes permitted after January 1, 2014.  Given California’s advanced energy code and ENERGY STAR program, the requirements include additional mandatory features, but allow for compliance flexibility. Builders certifying homes in California have the option of prescriptive compliance, a performance option using national HERS software, or one of two performance options using California Title 24 compliance software.

What it means to be passive

The DOE Challenge Home and PHIUS+ partnered to make it easier for builders to reach new levels of zero energy ready homes. DOE Challenge Home certification is a pre-requisite to PHIUS+ qualification.  Learn more about key requirements beyond DOE’s Challenge Home specifications. Builders who follow these guidelines and have them verified under the PHIUS+ approved process are allowed to market and label their homes as PHIUS+ certified Passive Homes.

Student Design Competition

DOE is engaging college students nationwide to participate in the DOE Challenge Home Student Design Competition.  The registration deadline is December 16, 2013.  This competition seeks student innovations for high-performance homes that can be implemented by the home building industry and serve as “models for success.” Submissions will demonstrate the teams’ knowledge and skills to design, analyze, and plan the construction of quality, high-performance homes that meet or exceed the DOE Challenge Home requirements. Learn more about the competition and criteria.

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