Whole House Design: Building Resource and Energy Efficient Homes

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Project


Environmental Policy And Management

Degree Name

Master of Environmental Policy And Management


Environmental Policy And Management


Kenneth Schreuder


Ecological houses; Energy Star; Energy Star (Program); floor plan design; local environment evaluation; renewable energy; resource and energy efficient; solar energy; Sustainable buildings -- Design and construction; sustainable homes; what-if scenario; whole house design


Sustainable homes defined in this paper as resource and energy efficient can be built by using the Whole House Design strategy introduced in this paper. These homes use fewer materials and minimize homeowners' reliance on fossil fuels. This Whole House Design strategy proffers a process, methods, and team approach for designing resource and energy efficient homes. The Whole House Design process encompasses evaluating the local environment, assessing renewable energy sources, designing the floor plan, modeling the building envelope, and selecting mechanical systems. The methods are the tools, techniques, and approaches employed throughout the Whole House Design process. The team approach ensures collaboration. Opportunities, obstacles, and strategies for successful implementation are discussed. Implementing this Whole House Design strategy supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ENERGY STAR program. ENERGY STAR features are tight construction, tight ducts, improved insulation, high performance windows, and energy efficient heating and cooling equipment. Energy efficient lighting and appliances are also considered. A whole house designed residence built by employing this strategy would be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.

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