The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that more than 10,000 homes have been constructed to meet the energy efficiency specifications of the voluntary Builders Challenge initiative. Undertaken in partnership with some of the nation’s largest production builders, these highly efficient homes represent an important advancement for the U.S. homebuilding industry, integrating construction with a whole-house energy-saving approach. These homes are equipped with highly efficient walls and windows, as well as heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. They also feature Energy Star-certified lighting products and appliances.

Homes built under this initiative have generated an estimated energy cost savings of nearly $15 million and slashed 71,000 tons of carbon emissions since 2008. The DOE’s Builders Challenge recognizes companies for their leadership in providing increased value and quality to home buyers throughout the nation with high-performance homes.

In response to increased local building energy codes and proven innovations and best practices emerging from DOE research, the department is launching a new version of the Builders Challenge to raise the bar for energy efficiency in homes and in the wider market. The updated Builders Challenge program will increase energy efficiency requirements for new homes in step with the national Energy Star program and challenge builders to construct homes that save up to 40% more energy compared with 2009 energy codes.

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