Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Design Strategy for a Hot-Humid Production Builder

P. Jr.

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


BSC worked directly with the David Weekley Homes - Houston division to redesign three floor plans in order to locate the HVAC system in conditioned space. The purpose of this project is to develop a cost effective design for moving the HVAC system into conditioned space. In addition, BSC conducted energy analysis to calculate the most economical strategy for increasing the energy performance of future production houses. This is in preparation for the upcoming code changes in 2015. The builder wishes to develop an upgrade package that will allow for a seamless transition to the new code mandate. The following research questions were addressed by this research project: 1. What is the most cost effective, best performing and most easily replicable method of locating ducts inside conditioned space for a hot-humid production home builder that constructs one and two story single family detached residences? 2. What is a cost effective and practical method of achieving 50% source energy savings vs. the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code for a hot-humid production builder? 3. How accurate are the pre-construction whole house cost estimates compared to confirmed post-construction actual cost? BSC and the builder developed a duct design strategy that employs a system of dropped ceilings and attic coffers for moving the ductwork from the vented attic to conditioned space. The furnace has been moved to either a mechanical closet in the conditioned living space or a coffered space in the attic.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages66
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Building Science Corporation, Somerville, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-61131

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102014-4364


  • BSC
  • Building America
  • dropped ceilings
  • duct coffer
  • duct design
  • EE
  • EE
  • energy efficiency
  • energy models
  • HVAC
  • IECC
  • residential
  • residential buildings


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