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Below is an index as well as a brief summary of the Building Technologies Program's key publications since 2006.  All publications are available in Adobe Acrobat PDF form.  To access the full PDF version of each document click on the title. 


International Learning and Best Practices in U.S. Transitional Shelter. Natural disasters in the U.S. and globally displace families and entire towns--the start of a human tragedy that may last for years. Outside the U.S. a multitude of innovative and new transitional shelter solutions and practices are easing this human tragedy and hastening redevelopment.

Some of these practices and solutions can be leveraged to help the U.S. disaster relief community, led by FEMA, to more effectively plan for and deploy transitional shelter. To aid in this effort, FAS has developed a comparative framework to identify international best practices; this report to Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the U.S. Department of Energy outlines key issues in U.S. transitional shelter, introduces and applies this framework to five case studies, and serves as a reference guide to international best practices and lessons learned in sheltering. 


Repair and Rehab Right.  Guidelines and Toolkit for Habitat Affiliates Undertaking Repair, Retrofit, or Rehabilitation of Existing Homes.  This document and the accompanying toolkit, found at: are intended to make working on existing homes easier for Habitat affiliates and to provide guidance on systems thinking in critical repairs and housing rehabs and repairs.


High Performance Building Guide for Habitat for Humanity Affiliates. Designed for Habitat for Humanity, this guide offers comprehensive advice to Habitat affiliates and other affordable housing builders on how to build high performing housing that is sustainable, healthy, and safe. 
High Performance Affordable Building Metrics.  This report summarizes the best available standards and metrics, makes recommendations on how performance should be defined and measured for each attribute, and offers suggestions on high performance benchmarks for each attribute.  In addition, as the goal of this report is to provide a starting point for discussion during the metrics creation process that must follow, this report contains recommendations on the development process and resulting metrics. 


About the Building Technologies Program.    two-page writeup about the Building Technologies Program with its Mission Statement, areas of focus and key staff members.  

Building Inspector Virtual Training Pilot.  A report on the state of training for building inspectors and code officials and a synthesis of FAS's pilot project studying the feasibility of training building inspectors using virtual world technology.

Implementing Energy Efficiency in Building Codes Based on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.  Written for FAS by Amit Talipatra, the purpose of this paper is to provide better understanding of the implications of Section 201 of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, also known as the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill.  This paper analyzes the following topics: ways to meet new energy efficiency targets, methods for defining cost-effectiveness, procedures to assure state compliance and issues that may arise if private organizations do not meet the requirements of the bill.

Expanding the Scope and Market of SIP Technologies.  This report is broken down into four main sections, including: background on SIP technologies currently available, analyses the current state of codes for CSIPs and non-wood facing SIP products, a "how to" constructability guide for builders and consumers, and an article outlining testing options for SIP products. 

Adaptations of Cementitious Structural Insulated Panels for Multistory Construction.  The final report submitted to the Charles Pankow Foundation, detailing application potential of CSIPs, procedures for designing and constructing multistory buildings with CSIPs, optimizing energy efficiency when building with CSIPs, and an overview of the code limitations as applied to CSIPs.  The data, tables, and appendixes in this document are presented so as to enable a knowledgable engineer to use this document as a sole source of technical information for the deployment of CSIPs in multistory construction.

"About SIPs and CSIPs".  An overview of the structure and properties of SIPs, materials options available, the history of SIP technology, and current fabrication, use, and installation techniques.  The first chapter of our report, Advanced Cementitious Structural Insulated Panels for Multistory Use.

Residential Energy Retrofits:  An Untapped Resource Right at Home. Residential Energy consumption accounts for over 20 percent of CO2emissions and energy use.  However, current and proposed climate change policies focus primarily on setting minimum standards for new homes through building codes.  This focus ignores the vast energy savings potential of retrofitting existing homes.  Recognizing this potential, this paper proposes a system of residential energy efficiency improvements, that would enable cost effective improvements financed by homeowners and utilities.  

Home Energy Retrofits and Green Jobs for the Stimulus Package.  FAS has created two energy efficiency proposals for a potential economic stimulus package.  The first is a straightforward expansion of the DOE Weatherization Assistance Program and the second is a new program of grants for point-of-sale home energy retrofits loosely based on the Weatherization model.  The primary goals of this program include: immediately creating construction jobs, retrofitting the highest possible percentage of homes at the time of sale, and encouraging retrofits up to the full cost-effective level.

The U.S. Weatherization Assistance Program.  After providing a capsule description of WAP as it exists today, this paper will trace the history of the program up to the current uncertainty about its future, as well as the actions needed to move it beyond survival to more effectively address today's energy and housing challenges. 

Keeping the Recovery Safe.  Based on FAS's extensive experience with SIPs and pilot project with Sichuan University in creating SIP relief housing in Sichuan Province, this article elucidates the potential causes of indoor air quality problems in Chinese relief housing. 


Cementitious Structural Insulated Panels.  This report provides monitoring and analysis comparing construction activities, construction costs, construction timeframe, and energy efficiency of panelized houses in Turkey and in the American Gulf Coast.  Included are recommendations on the use of SIPs, future construction, and international cooperation.

Surviving the FEMA Aftermath.  FEMA's inability to meet housing needs has become a national scandal.  The roots of this problem lie in a deeply flawed procurement process, and without drastic changes the current fiasco of providing substandard, dangerous housing for disaster victims is bound to repeat itself.  This paper outlines the necessary steps for FEMA to take to properly replace formaldehyde filled trailers, and to fundamentally fix the agency's approach to housing procurement.

Product Approval.  This paper explains two processes for manufacturers to demonstrate code compliance of their products, as well as the costs and benefits of each.  By making these distinctions clear, a product manufacturer will be able to optomize the process of product approval and significantly reduce the amount of time and money spent.

Improving the Building Industry Through Learning Technologies.   An article written by the Building Technologies Program regarding the potential application of advanced learning technologies to the improvement of the building industry.

Quality and Price in Manufactured Housing.  A presentation by David Tompos of NTA Inc outlining the creation of high performance manufactured housing that is safe, efficient and affordable and built to strict building codes and standards.

SIPs Role In Emergency Housing.  This document was prepared for the response after the Chinese Earthquakes in Sichuan province. It contains basic information regarding Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and their structural robustness (with commentary of the US testing issues) and contains information regarding disaster housing post-Katrina (with best lessons learned). 

Seismic Evaluation of Structural Insulated Panels. Written by Khalid Mosalam and co-authored by Joe Hagerman and Henry Kelly.  This paper focuses on the characterization of the mechanical properties and seismic performance of SIPs using experimental techniques.  Specimens included both OSB faced and cementitious SIPs, where panels were tested without panel-to-panel connections.

SIPS, Energy Efficient Buildings, and US Challenges in Energy and Climate Change.  A presentation by Henry Kelly, President of FAS, outlining US energy use, especially in the building sector, climate change and its global impacts, and the role of advanced building technologies, specifically SIPs, in reducing building energy use and increasing energy efficiency.

Engineered Design of Structural Insulated Panels.  A presentation by Eric Tompos of NTA Inc at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2008 Conference.  This presentation outlines the the design and engineering perspective of creating a SIP house.   

Beyond Code Reports:  Taking SIPs from Design to Construction.  A presentation by Eric Tompos of NTA at the ASCE 2008 Conference.  

Energy Efficient Mortgages.  FAS's recommendations for improving the current system of Energy Efficient Mortgages. 

Evaluating Residential Energy Efficiency Programs with a Universal Metric.  This paper, written by Kelly Shultz for FAS, proposes the creation of a national metric for ranking energy efficiency programs.



Suggested Procurement Strategies.  Using lessons from FAS's involvment in the Mississippi Alternative Housing Program to design, prototype, and produce the highest quality unit in the shortest amount of time, FAS has put together the final suggested procurement process for emergency housing.

MEMA and the Alternative Housing Pilot Program.  Building Technologies Program Manager Joe Hagerman acted as an advisor to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) for the state's bid to FEMA's Alternative Housing Pilot Program.  The following article explains the program, as well as the innovative results of MEMA's proposal. 


CSIP Info Kit.  A preliminary overview of CSIP technology produced for the Pankow Foundation and investigating multi-story applications of CSIPs.  This report includes general information regarding CSIP technology, code conformance issues, acceptance criteria for SIP panels and connection details.

Affordable, Safe Housing Based on Expanded Polystyrene Foam and Cementitious Coating.  This scientific paper by FAS and our partners outlines ongoing experimental work with building safe, energy efficient and affordable housing using Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) wall and roof panels with a cementitious coating.