The EnergyValue Hous-ing Award (EVHA) has been a long-standing and prestigious award in the new-construction industry for the last 15 years. Now, in addition to new homes, the awards program will also provide an opportunity for builders and remodelers to showcase the energy-efficiency upgrades and performance improvements they’ve built into existing homes.

With nearly 130 million existing homes in the U.S., many of which are in need of significant improvements in order to reduce energy consumption, the U.S. DOE, EVHA’s primary sponsor, saw a major need to shift some of its focus from new to existing homes. Starting with the 2011 awards, EVHA will have an existing-homes category. The judging criteria will focus on the same criteria as the EVHA new-home category: application completeness; energy value; design; construction; marketing and customer relations; and energy program participation. Builders and remodelers can enter single-family homes, multifamily buildings, or reconstruction (gut/rehab) projects. The entries will also be grouped according to the project’s climate region—hot, moderate, or cold—as the new-home submissions are.

For this competition, eligible entries must be existing homes that have been significantly retrofitted, remodeled, or renovated with a specific focus on energy upgrades or improvements. Applications will be required to include details about the home both pre- and post-renovation, including any changes in the structural, mechanical, plumbing, and/or electrical systems. Pre- and post-renovation test data and inspection reports should be used to back up any claimed improvements in a home’s performance. Applicants should also discuss strategies behind why the changes were made and the selection process they went through to determine the best options to accomplish their specific energy-efficiency goals while keeping within the clients’ budget. Judges will look at overall energy-performance improvements in a home, integration of energy considerations into the project’s design, product selection, and innovations used to accomplish greater energy savings.

The 2011 applications for both the new- and existing-homes categories are now available online—visit www.nahbrc.org/evha/retrofit for more information on this new award category and to down-load an application. You can also contact Debra Sagan, EVHA project manager at the NAHB Research Center, at 800-638-8556, ext. 6210. Applications for the existing-homes category must be postmarked by Friday, July 30, 2010. (New-home category applications must be postmarked by June 30, 2010).