Energy Efficiency Benchmarks for Housing: A Comparative Study of Energy Efficiency Benchmark Housing Systems

By Joerg Ruegemer and Ryan E. Smith.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Many high volume builders are increasing their interest in sustainability to improve their bottom line, however reaching toward the next level of net zero energy housing has been viewed as cost prohibitive and the methods by which to achieve such goals are generally unknown. 3rd party benchmarks have been established in recent years to aid in achieving energy efficient housing, including the Energy Star® (Energy Star) Program, National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS), United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes, and Passive House Planning Package (PHPP). These rating systems consider energy-efficiency performance in varying degrees, ranging from quantitative prescriptive rating strategies to qualitative rating strategies by performance. The capabilities and culpabilities of each rating system can be difficult to determine for architects and builders alike. However, with the quantity of new homes projected by planners to be built in the next 50 years, more must be demanded of these rating systems to achieve net zero energy performance goals. This paper summarizes the results of a comparative study about the following benchmark rating systems, for their capacity to achieve net zero energy housing: Energy Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star Qualified Homes, USGBC LEED for Homes 2008, ICC 700–2008 NGBS, and PHPP 2007–2010.

Keywords: Energy Efficiency Benchmark Housing Rating Systems, Energy Efficient Housing, Net Zero Housing, Energy Star, LEED, NGBS, PHPP

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.85-102. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 5.248MB).

Joerg Ruegemer

Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA

After receiving his architectural diploma in Germany, Joerg Ruegemer graduated with an MArch from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He is a licensed architekt in Germany, eligible to practice in all countries of the European Union. He has worked for Frank O. Gehry, Anshen + Allen Architects, and Bothe Richter Teherani, before he established his own Atelier AJR in Berlin in 2001. Between 2004 and 2008, he was professionally active in China, where he ran an architectural office in Shanghai with partners from Berlin. The firm’s focus was on energy efficient buildings and architectural concepts that include all aspect of sustainability as an integral part of the design process. Joerg’s professional work includes projects on three continents and numerous participations in international competitions with 14 placements and awards. He has taught at several Universities in Germany and the United States. After moving back to the United States, his professional and research focus has been on energy-efficient and sustainable buildings. His appointment at the School of Architecture, University of Utah in Salt Lake City, brought him to Utah, where he recently designed and built Utah’s most energy-efficient and cost effective house.

Ryan E. Smith

Associate Professor, School of Architecture, University of Utah, USA

Ryan E. Smith is the Director of I TAC: Integrated Technology in Architecture Center. The mission of the research center is to to promote integration in architecture that works to flatten the process and product technology that lead to sustainable and lean design and construction practice. Smith’s research includes analyzing the integration process, players and collaborations including the use of BIM, energy, and lifecycle simulation. In addition, Smith develops, tests, and monitors existing and emergent holistic integrated technology products (varied in scale) for zero energy buildings and applies these to practice through university ~ industry collaborations and demonstration projects. His work in the center has been funded by institutions including FEMA, UTA, AISC, UofU, and DOE. Smith is a graduate of the University of Arizona and UC Berkeley.


There are currently no reviews of this product.

Write a Review