Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ENERGY STAR® Guidelines Version 3 for Modular Homes

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced another delay of the full implementation of the ENERGY STAR Guidelines Version 3 for modular homes, which was supposed to go into effect on July 1, 2012. Through Dec. 31, 2013, modular homes can qualify for the ENERGY STAR label under SBRA Modular Program Guidelines: Procedures for Qualifying Modular Homes for the ENERGY STAR Guidelines Version 2.5.
During the wait
The EPA will use this additional time to gather feedback from the modular-home industry and other stakeholders. The feedback will be evaluated and incorporated into a Factory-Built Housing Energy Performance Verification Standard. As of today, this standard has not been released to the modular-home industry for review or comment.

Here's what I think
In my opinion, the actual implementation process and timeline for code compliance to ENERGY STAR Guidelines Version 3 won’t occur until late 2014 or early 2015. In the meantime, what can modular-home builders provide to prospective home buyers who want an ENERGY STAR-compliant home? 
What builders can do
Currently, modular-home builders can still build ENERGY STAR homes to the ENERGY STAR Modular Homes Version 2.5 Program. Version 2.5 is a transitional program that allows  modular-home builders to build homes that comply with the Prescriptive or Performance design requirements checklist, as well as sections 3 and 5 of the Thermal Enclosure System Checklist.
ENERGY STAR Version 2.5 also allows modular home builders to identify what parts of ENERGY STAR Version 3 they’re not compliant with that will require further preparation and attention. This is done by completing all mandatory checklists, including, but not limited to, theHPAV System Installation Checklist and the Water Management System Checklist
Use the extra time wisely
The delay provides the perfect opportunity for modular-home builders to prepare for the future:
o   Develop an ENERGY STAR home construction package.

o   Have their plant certified, thereby demonstrating they have the skills and construction techniques necessary to build ENERGY STAR modular homes.

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