Building America Research Benchmark Definition: Updated August 15, 2007

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


To track progress toward aggressive multi-year whole-house energy savings goals of 40-70% and onsite power production of up to 30%, DOE's Residential Buildings Program and NREL developed the Building America Research Benchmark in consultation with the Building America industry teams. The Benchmark is generally consistent with mid-1990s standard practice, as reflected in the Home Energy RatingSystem (HERS) Technical Guidelines (RESNET 2002), with additional definitions that allow the analyst to evaluate all residential end-uses, an extension of the traditional HERS rating approach that focuses on space conditioning and hot water. Unlike the reference homes used for HERS, EnergyStar, and most energy codes, the Benchmark represents typical construction at a fixed point in time so itcan be used as the basis for Building America's multi-year energy savings goals without the complication of chasing a 'moving target'.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages45
StatePublished - 2007

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-550-42011


  • benchmark
  • Building America
  • HERS
  • home energy rating systems (HERS)


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