As whole-house energy efficiency increases, new houses become less like conventional houses that were built in the past. Higher energy performance is achieved by optimizing conventional components as systems. New materials and new systems, which are expected to perform at a higher level, require greater coordination and communication between industry stakeholders. These changes mark a departure from the traditional “labor + materials” approach, where individual materials or components could be substituted for higher performance elements, toward an increased focus on the design and construction of whole building systems, where the process of construction and the interaction of components is more critical to the performance of the final product. To achieve the level of communication and coordination required, the approach to the assembly and use of construction documents needs to be improved. Strategy Guideline: Advanced Construction Documentation Recommendations for High Performance Homes provides advice to address this need.
The Guideline identifies differences between the requirements for construction documents for high performance housing and the documents that are typically produced for conventional housing. The reader will be presented with four changes that are recommended to achieve improvements in energy efficiency, durability, and health in Building America program houses: create coordination drawings, improve specifications, improve detail drawings, and review drawings and prepare a Quality Control Plan.
Note: This report was produced for the U.S. Department of Energy Building America program. The link provided is to the full report published on the US DOE website.