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Residential Energy Code Field Studies

Single-family Residential Buildings

Objective: Determine whether an investment in energy code education & training programs can produce a significant, measurable change in energy savings for single-family residential buildings.

The study is comprised of three phases:

  1. Pre-Study: A baseline study to identify the energy use in typical single-family residential buildings in a given state and opportunities for improving energy efficiency
  2. Education & Training: Education, training & outreach activities targeting issues identified through the baseline study
  3. Post-Study: A second study to identify the change in energy use following the education & training activities Through the project, DOE plans to establish a sufficient data set to represent statewide construction trends and detect significant changes in energy use resulting from education & training activities.

Participating States

The following states were selected to participate in the study (original DOE funding opportunity announcement):

Alabama Institute for Market Transformation (IMT)
Arkansas Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)
Georgia Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)
Kentucky Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA)
Maryland Maryland Energy Administration (MEA)
North Carolina Appalachian State University
Pennsylvania Performance Systems Development
Texas National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)


Several additional states have also initiated their own studies based on the DOE Methodology (study results are available where linked):


Highlights from the updated methodology:

  • Results to be based on an energy metric and reported at the state-level
  • Focuses on individual code requirements within new single-family homes
  • Data confidentiality built into the experiment—no personal data will be shared
  • Designed around a single site-visit prioritizing key items
  • Designed with statistically significant results in mind

More information on the field study methodology and supporting research instruments is available below. Technical assistance is available from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), including guidance on the established methodology, customization of sampling plans, and technical analysis of the resulting data set.



Individual state findings:

The aggregated data set across all field study states: Phase I Field Study Data and Phase III Field Study Data

Additional data from states using the field study methodology: Additional States Public Data

Project Team Resources

Data Collection Instrument

Multifamily Residential Buildings

Objective: Validate the impact of building energy codes in low-rise multifamily buildings and identify opportunities for increased energy that can be addressed through workforce education & training programs.


  • Develop a field-based methodology which can be implemented in low-rise multifamily buildings
  • Identify and resolve challenges that are unique to multifamily construction
  • Construct an empirical data set across four target states {WA, OR, MN & IL}
  • Examine envelope air tightness testing protocols and challenges in the multifamily sector
  • Provide recommendations as to how multifamily buildings can be better represented through energy code training and other compliance-improvement programs


Prepared by Ecotope, Slipstream, and the MN Center for Energy & Environment (CEE).

The low-rise multifamily approach was developed and tested through a pilot project funded through a Funding Opportunity Announcement (2016).