USGBC’s third quarterly roundup of the top research and news on residential green building offers a look at a multifamily benchmarking effort by the U.S. Department of Energy, some advice on marketing green features when selling your home, a study on the cost of multifamily affordable housing, a preview of the DOE Solar Decathlon and a study on the potential effects of building materials on residents’ health.
Following YoDa to Utility Benchmarking Glory: HUD’s Year of Data Reaches Benchmarking Goals | Better Buildings, U.S. Department of Energy
Launched in summer 2016, the Year of Data (or YoDa) provided technical assistance for multifamily Better Buildings Challenge partners to increase their use of portfolio-wide, building-level data. YoDa was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and this effort enabled partners to track their energy consumption and expenses. The free tools and templates are available for any multifamily property to track and benchmark energy use.
3 Key Tips for Selling an Eco-Friendly Home | Redfin
On the heels of a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that found that adding solar panels to your home increases overall value by an average of $20,000, Redfin gives advice to homeowners in marketing their green features to potential homebuyers. Redfin finds that educated homebuyers interested in green homes will search for recognizable labels, such as LEED.
Multifamily Affordable Housing that is Healthy, Efficient, Cost Effective, and LEED Platinum | Journal of Green Building
This study by Sharon Patterson Grant examines 10 LEED Platinum multifamily affordable housing projects (as well as two projects still in the certification process). Grant, the LEED consultant on these projects, catalogues benefits such as reduced asthma attacks and energy savings, and she aims to debunk assumptions that costs involved with increasing energy efficiency and enhancing a building's health impacts are prohibitive.
12 Solar-Powered Houses You’ll See at Solar Decathlon 2017 | Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE
Looking ahead to the Solar Decathlon in October, this article gives a preview of what awaits visitors to the event in Denver. Held from October 5 to 15, this competition challenges university student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses. The 2017 competition has embraced new contests to emphasize market potential, innovation, water use and reuse strategies and smart energy use.
Chemical exposures in recently renovated low-income housing: Influence of building materials and occupant activities | Environment International
This newly released study, a collaboration by researchers from Silent Spring Institute, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Battelle Memorial Institute and Southwest Research Institute, examines indoor air contaminants in renovated housing, pre- and post-renovation. Data showed that sources of a particular contaminant may be primarily from what residents bring into their homes, the materials used in construction, or both. Lead author Robin Dodson concluded that indoor air quality testing and voluntary standards should be broadened to include additional contaminants.
If you have suggestions for future studies we could share, please contact Alysson Blackwelder.