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Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

High Performance Residential D(ST10503)

Newport Ventures, Inc.


A study of the current housing market in New York State reveals that high performance homes currently being built typically achieve a median Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 88. NYSERDA’s Advanced Building Program (ABP) promotes methods and products to increase the energy performance (HERS) of residential buildings substantially above current practice. Market research of the NYS building community recently conducted, shows that the majority of residential buildings are being constructed with 2x4 or 2x6 framing, use conventional fiberglass insulation, include typical forced hot air and ducting for heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), and are getting larger. The ABP advocates unique combinations of design, materials, technologies and building methods, which yield high performance. Still, these combinations are not widely practiced in the current market. The current level of performance incorporated in new construction may be inherent to reach market equilibrium with hardly any incentives (additional energy savings, other attributes) to reach further. Building science professionals and architects typically are absent from the contractor’s business as the usual state of operation.

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Project Description

Funding will be given to the building science team to recruit potential builder/owner pairs (clients) for developing high performance buildings. The building science team will then provide guidance and cost assistance to each recruited client throughout the entire process, consisting of these activities: redesign, model, construction support, post construction testing, and energy performance monitoring and reporting of the completed high performance building. Results will be disseminated via the NYSERDA Web site for educational and technology transfer benefits.


•Demonstrate that HERS 93 can be technically feasible and economically viable •Bring commercially available technologies into the mainstream building industry •Develop an understanding of the required steps to be taken, which will reduce costs of emerging energy efficient technologies •Increase the number of builders in NY State actively engaged in high-performance home building •Tabulated costs of advanced energy performance mechanisms •Case examples to increase the confidence and reduce risks of promoting and building high efficiency homes

Project Results

Contractor (Building Science team) delivered seven (7) high performance homes in three (3) geographic regions of New York; Buffalo, Rochester and Capital District. Homes achieved average HERS rating of 92.1, slightly below the original goal, however, discovered that HERS ratings favor electrical reductions and promote self-generation measures. Buildings typically achieved air tightness of less than 2.0 ACH 50, installed whole house ventilation, heat recovery units, natural gas fired tankless hot water units, and below grade wall insulation of R-25. The combination of these measures increased HERS ratings, and is most likely to be adopted into the participating builders business. Contractor surveyed participating builders and homeowners upon completion of the construction projects and determined homeowners were more satisfied with these homes than any previous homes they had owned. Selecting and qualifying builders to participate in the challenge, proved to be more difficult for the Contractor than originally envisioned. Incremental incentives for the performance measures ranged between $12K - $16K, with anomalies such as ground source heat pumps and multiple inches of high density spray foam adding costs that distort the average incremental costs experienced.


Newport Ventures, Inc.
22 Jay St
Schenectady, NY 12305

Principle Investigator

Mike Moore

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Building Systems
Building Construction Methods

NYSERDA Contact Information

Gregory Pedrick


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 10/7/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10503

Last Updated: 3/14/2013