More than ever, homebuilders are looking for innovative ways to meet the growing demand for more sustainable, energy efficient homes. As homebuyers’ desires for “greener” solutions continue to grow, merely building to code is no longer sufficient. Today’s progressive builders are looking beyond code to create true high-performance structures for their homebuyers—along the way, building real opportunity for their businesses.
Leveraging 150-plus years of chemical expertise along with comprehensive building science proficiency, BASF, through its BEYOND.High Performance® approach, is helping builders around the country find truly innovative ways to affordably build sustainable homes, right in their neck of the woods. And it all begins with understanding and embracing the tenets of building science: right sized mechanicals, improved indoor environmental quality, improved thermal systems, moisture management, fresh air ventilation, pressure balancing and combustion safety.
BASF Center for Building Excellence
Builders don’t necessarily need to be building science experts to put these tenets to work in their construction projects; rather, they can take advantage of partnering with those who are. That’s where BASF's Center for Building Excellence comes into the picture. The center provides access to a multidisciplinary team of building scientists, architects, engineers and sustainable construction professionals. Working side-by-side, they help builders develop tailored solutions that address their specific construction climate, codes and challenges.
The team engages with builders to first learn how they build homes before working collaboratively to develop a plan on how to improve building processes. The plan is very prescriptive and allows for on-site consultation and process improvements.
Science Through Systems
The idea is to embrace the concept of the home as a holistic system, versus a collection of components working independently. Through building science, we identify the critical role that a comprehensive building envelope has in effectively keeping conditioned air inside homes—while keeping everything else out. This building envelope uses multiple layers to provide complete and continuous barriers for thermal, air, moisture and water infiltration. Armed with this building science know how, builders can work with BASF to identify methods that can result in the reduction of thermal bridging, increased structural integrity and reduced lumber content in their homes.
By the Numbers
While developing more energy efficient homes might start with smarter, more sustainable construction methods, it doesn’t end there. It involves a three-part 50/30/20 formula. Employing a holistic, strategic approach to construction that leverages the tenets of applied building science can result in a home that operates at a 50% higher efficiency than standard construction methods. Incorporating renewable energy technologies, like a photovoltaic system, another 30% of the energy used in the home can be offset. The final 20% of energy savings should come from smart use and occupant behavior that can be realized by educating homeowners on simple, every-day behavior changes.