The Home Building Industry's Technical Information Resource

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You can increase the value of your next remodeling project by including energy efficiency improvements. Learn how with Energy Efficiency Improvements for Remodeling Projects.

Information on electrical topics such as communications and wiring, lighting, and power generation.

Innovative Products & Processes - Technology Inventory [Back to Top]

Consider using the products below to take advantage of their potential to provide one or more of the following in the homes you build: Affordability, Energy Efficiency, Quality & Durability, Environmental Performance, and Safety.

Combined Heat and Power Systems for Residential Use
Compact Fluorescent Lighting
Electrical Raceways
Emergency Power Backup Systems
Fuel Cells
Information-Age Wiring for Home Automation Systems
Interconnection Devices for Nonmetallic Sheathed Wire
LED Lighting
Lighting Controls
Photovoltaic Systems
Photovoltaics - Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)
Programmable Thermostats
Structured Wiring Systems
Wind Power Generator
Wireless Thermostats

Design & Construction Guides [Back to Top]

Guides for designing and building various types of construction

Efficient Lighting Strategies - Wise Design Choices Can Meet Lighting Needs and Save Energy
Energy Efficiency in Remodeling: Appliances & Lighting
Energy-Efficient Lighting - ToolBase TechSpecs
Home Automation Options for Existing Houses: "No New Wires" Solutions
Photovoltaic Systems - ToolBase TechSpecs
Residential Communications Wiring Special Report
Tech Set 4: Energy-Efficient Lighting
The Rehab Guide, Volume 7: Electrical/Electronics
Best Practices [Back to Top]

General recommendations and accepted practices

The Home Automation Question: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?

Performance Reports & Case Studies [Back to Top]

Evaluation of how products and systems perform in real life applications

Institutional Factors Affecting Commercialization of Fuel Cells An initial review of the economics and regulatory evolution of stationary generation of electric power in the United States explains the origin of some of the barriers and opportunities that confront the commercialization of distributed generation (DG).
Review of Residential Electrical Energy Use Data This report summarizes electrical energy use data for single-family detached homes available from public and private sources. Data sources summarized in this report include: National annual data from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA Monthly data from two builders, Hourly profiles from three utility companies, and Detailed energy use data from field measurements.
Technical Factors Affecting Commercialization of Fuel Cells Identify the technical and building code issues and electric system interconnection choices related to the use of fuel cells in residential buildings.
TechPractices: EcoVillage at Ithaca, Ithaca, NY By using an inventive arrangement of distribution systems, homes can be designed and constructed to generate low energy bills but maintain high indoor air quality.
TechPractices: Greenlee Park, McStain Enterprises, Boulder, CO Greenlee Park, completed in 1997, is the first environmentally sustainable development built by McStain Enterprises, and has since had a big impact on how this company (which averages 250 units a year) builds homes.
TechPractices: Keith Swilley House, Koehnemann Construction, Panama City, FL This single-family Florida house uses a horizontal loop geothermal heat pump system and an array of energy-saving strategies.
TechPractices: Medallion Homes, San Antonio, TX Medallion Homes, a San Antonio home building company, is committed to constructing energy-efficient and environmentally friendly homes at an affordable price.
TechPractices: West of Pennsylvania, Brooklyn, NY West of Pennsylvania and Spring Creek are the two neighborhoods targeted by East Brooklyn Congregations (EBC) to contain the next phase of the Nehemiah Homes Plan, which has already built more than 2,300 homes in Brooklyn.

Field Evaluations [Back to Top]

Evaluation of how products and systems perform in real life applications

Asdal Builders
J. W. Miller Companies - Armory Park del Sol
Shea Homes

Questions & Answers [Back to Top]

Frequently asked questions, answered by home building professionals

Are there any electrical products that are becoming more popular among older homebuyers/remodelers?
Are there any standards for low-voltage wiring, such as structured wiring, security, central vacuum, audio, and video?
Did homes built in 1969 have aluminum wiring?
Do electrical switches, connections, receptacles, and wiring need to be replaced after flooding?
Do programmable thermostats save energy?
How can I learn more about wiring homes for data, home theaters, and security?
The local housing inspector recently informed me that I need to use Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters. How much will it cost and why do I need it?
We have just bought a new home and were informed that it has C5 wiring. What does that mean? Where can I get more information on it?
What are my options if I am working on an addition, and would like to add a separate heating zone and thermostat?
What are some of the home automation devices available to save energy?
What is a white LED lighting system?
What is the difference between "structured wiring" and "home automation?"
What is the maximum hole that can be drilled in 2x4 studs in load bearing walls for wiring or plumbing?
Who installs structured wiring systems?

Web Links [Back to Top]

Recommended Web resources for additional information