Builders Challenge 2 Broadens Scope, Raises Bar in High-Performance Construction

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By Erin Weaver

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Program (BTP) is phasing out its 2008 Builders Challenge, to be replaced in April by Builders Challenge 2. The new standards for participation align with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Energy Star Version 3, with additional guidelines involving savings, comfort, health, and durability.

Since 2008, the program has produced thousands of high-performance Builders Challenge-labeled homes; the standards will continue to rise, with the goal of 1.3 million net-zero-energy homes across the country by 2030 producing as much energy as they use. With a size adjustment factor that favors smaller homes, the 2012 initiative addresses a broad range of issues, including insulation, water use, indoor air quality, readiness for future solar installations, and disaster resistance. There are two methods of verifying a home as meeting these standards, with different levels of flexibility and modeling required. For more information, see


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February 28, 2012