BIRA partners with over 80 building industry stakeholders including architects, builders, energy consultants, local governments, research groups and utilities to perform systems and technology research along with prototype testing and evaluation. The research results of this collaboration are published and aimed at educating the building industry with the ultimate goal of cost-effective, energy-efficient communities.
In addition to working with industry professionals, BIRA works closely with all levels of government to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy.
BIRA's main activities include:
- Energy analysis and design to reduce a home’s energy bills by 40%-70%
- Researching promising new and innovative technologies
- Working with cities, jurisdictions, states, utilities, and other stakeholders to mainstream energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies
- Presenting and publishing research findings aimed at educating the building industry
- Creating proven solutions for production homebuilders that make high performance homes both cost-effective and marketable
The Building America program, through the support of national labs and industry teams, performs building science research and dissemination. The Building America program combines the knowledge and resources of industry leaders with DOE’s technical capabilities to act as a catalyst for change in the home building industry.
By 2020, the Building America program seeks to enable the production of net Zero Energy Homes that builders across the country can successfully build and market. Zero Energy Homes combine innovative energy-efficient construction and appliances with commercially available renewable energy systems such as solar water heating and solar electricity.
In collaboration with its partners, the BIRA team has built over 10,000 Building America homes. The majority of these homes are in the Mixed-Dry and Marine climate zones located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. There are over 40,000 Building America homes in all.
ConSol is the team lead for BIRA and has been providing energy solutions for production builders for over 25 years. Their services include mechanical engineering, energy code compliance, ComfortWise® products, and energy and resource consulting. ConSol is considered the builder’s energy advocate and is committed to assisting builders improve profits while maintaining the highest level of quality and is recognized as a leader in energy-efficiency analysis, policy, and implementation.