Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

High Environmental Performance (HEP) Residential Housing for NYS(ST8820-1)

Syracuse University


The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building America program is striving to produce homes that use 40% to 70% less energy. While many researchers believe the 40% goal is achievable, more work is needed to convince builders that the technologies required to reach this level of energy efficiency are available and ready for widespread use. Syracuse University has identified a progressive New York builder who is interested in integrating new building concepts into a home to achieve the Building America goal. Syracuse University has also assembled a team of leading building science organizations (Building Science Corporation and CDH Energy Corp.) to assist this effort.

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Project Description

The Contractor will: optimize the building envelope for heat, air, and moisture transfers, design a radiant space heating system integrated with the domestic water heater that may use a forced air system to respond to rapid changes in the house’s thermal environment, develop a ventilation system with automatic controls that provides the necessary outdoor air exchange based on natural air leakage of the building and occupants ‘comfort, demonstrate these technologies in a house constructed and monitored in the Syracuse area, and disseminate the performance results for the demonstration house.


The proposed technologies developed in this project are expected to reduce a home’s energy usage by 40%. These technologies are also expected to control moisture better in the home, resulting in better indoor air quality and durability.

Project Results

The measured yearly energy consumptions for heating and cooling (including fan energy for the HRV) were 1,874 therms and 4993 kWh for the 4,700 square foot house (excluding basement which could be finished in future). The energy usage of this extremely tight and large house constructed in DeWitt NY is about 41% less than that of the Build America benchmark home. The small duct high velocity air distribution system coupled with a heat recovery ventilator maintained carbon dioxide concentration level below accepted guidelines. Project results were presented to 150 individuals at the Building Enclosures Science and Technology Conference (2008). An accompanying paper was published in the conference proceedings.


Syracuse University
727 East Washington St. Attn: Tamara Rosanio
Syracuse, NY 13244

Principle Investigator

Hugh Henderson

Universities Involved

Syracuse University


Project Type:

Product Demonstration

Technologies Types:

Building Systems
Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning
Cooling & Ventilation

NYSERDA Contact Information

Robert Carver


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST8820-1

Last Updated: 12/17/2013