TechPractices are outstanding housing projects throughout the U.S. where innovative technologies are implemented. Builders and remodelers can use these examples as models for projects of their own.
The NAHB Research Center and Warren Builders of Albertville, Alabama worked together to evaluate Technology Inventory practices in two test homes. Two 1,500 square foot, one-story test houses were identical except for the inclusion of these technologies:
One home was a control home built in accordance with the builder's typical methods including HVAC ductwork located in the attic.
In the second home, all HVAC equipment and ductwork were located within the conditioned space. Ductblaster tests were performed to determine comparative duct leakage results. Installation costs and materials were closely monitored, as was any additional work such as construction of interior bulkheads. These results have been compiled to show first-cost impacts, while duct leakage results were used to model the efficiency benefits of the conditioned space system.
Three different mechanical ventilation systems were also installed in the second home:
- Central Fan Integrated (CFI)
- Multi-Port Supply (MPS)
- Ventilation & Dehumidification (DEC)
Installation and operating costs were monitored for the three systems. Additionally, tracer gas testing was done during the summer and one mild season. The tracer gas testing incorporated occupant effects such as opening doors and normal operation of other mechanical equipment in the home to determine the actual air exchange performance of the home.
Final field testing and analysis was completed in January 2002.