Building America Case Study: Savannah Gardens, Savannah, Georgia

Timothy Merrigan, V. Kochkin

Research output: NRELFact Sheet


Southface Energy Institute (Southface) partnered with owners and/or builders with various market constraints and ultimate goals for three projects in different climate zones: Savannah, GA (CZ 2), Clemson, SC (CZ 3), and LaFayette, GA (CZ 4). This report documents the design process, computational energy modeling, construction, envelope performance metrics, long-term monitoring results, and successes and failures of the design and execution of these high performance homes. The three bedroom/two bathroom test home in Savannah Gardens on an elevated slab foundation has a semi-conditioned, encapsulated attic. A neighboring home built to EarthCraft specifications was also monitored as a control for exterior foam insulation and a heat pump water heater (HPWH). For the JMC Patrick Square, a single-story project in Clemson, the small-scale production builder wanted to increase their level of energy efficiency beyond their current green building practices, including bringing ducts into conditioned space. Through a combination of upgrade measures the team met this goal and achieved many Zero Energy Ready Home requirements. LaFayette Housing Authority undertook a development of 30 affordable rental housing units in 15 duplexes in LaFayette, GA. Because they would be long-term owners, their priorities were low utility bills for the residents and durable, maintainable buildings. The team employed BEopt to optimize building envelope and systems choices, including 2x6 advanced framed walls, insulated slab, and heat pump water heater in a utility closet which was ducted to/from an encapsulated attic.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Partnership for Home Innovation (PHI), Upper Marlboro, Maryland

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5500-66145

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102016-4859


  • affordable
  • Building America
  • ducted HPWH
  • ducts in conditioned space
  • heat pump water heater
  • hot
  • HPWH
  • humid
  • insulated sheathing
  • Partnership for Home Innovation
  • PHI
  • rental
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • ZERH
  • Zero Energy Ready home


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