FAS to Construct Model Home in Houston
The Housing Technology Project will be constructing a model home in Houston, Texas, to demonstrate the use of structural insulated panel construction as part of a safe, environmentally-friendly, and cost efficient home. FAS will be constructing a single family home using panels with expanded polystyrene cores and cement board coating. These panels passed rigorous test requirements established by the Uniform Building Code, which dictates standards for building in the United States, as well as additional tests conducted by FAS that looked at structural and fire safety under extreme conditions.
In designing the home, the FAS Housing Technology research group established a list of criteria including cost and energy efficiency when compared to traditional, stick-built homes, attractive architectural details, safety in wind and fire, resistance to mold and pests, and environmentally friendly materials. The design, provided by native Houston architect Roger Rausbach, was specifically formulated for panel use, thus easing construction and lowering costs further.
Construction is expected to begin in late spring 2005, and FAS will work with the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America program and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Partnership for Advanced Technology in Housing (PATH) program to monitor costs, energy use, indoor air quality, and other characteristics of the home as part of an ongoing research project to study and design the best housing technology for environments around the US and the world.