Miller Homes, Dow create energy-efficient N.Y. duplex

Central New York builder Miller Homes announced the opening of a deconstructed duplex designed to educate the public and the industry on the importance of high performing homes.

By HZ Staff | March 22, 2012
Miller Homes, Dow Business Solutions, New York, duplex, energy efficient

Central New York builder Miller Homes announced the opening of a deconstructed duplex designed to educate the public and the industry on the importance of high performing homes. The company participated in the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) “High Performance Builders Challenge,” and received a grant from NYSERDA to implement high-performing building practices; the grant focused particularly on those that contribute to a tight building envelope.

Miller Homes took this initiative one step further and, in collaboration with Dow Building Solutions and CDH Energy, built the educational, energy-efficient deconstructed duplex.

The Energy Star-rated duplex is divided into two parts. Half of it is finished and serves as a model home; the other half showcases structural components and building envelope technologies from Dow, such as open framing, rough electrical, heating, insulation and air-sealing. The duplex is part of the Inverness Gardens subdivision located in Syracuse, N.Y., and will stay open over the next four years to serve as an educational and training facility for builders, contractors, architects, students and the public.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Dow to educate the public on how energy-efficient building contributes to indoor health, comfort, and energy savings,” said Troy Adams, president, Miller Homes. “With their continued support, we strive to educate the industry about products and solutions that enable high performing homes to be achievable, affordable, and replicable across the nation.”


Twenty-two thousand people toured the duplex during the Fall Parade of Homes. Since then, Dow and Miller Homes have used the space to certify a local Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) contractor; host a CEU course for the Syracuse American Institute of Architects (AIA); and engage students from the State University of New York (SUNY) Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).

“The goal of the ‘High Performance Builders Challenge’ was to push builders beyond their typical techniques, to promote and educate higher performance opportunities that reduce the building load,” said Gregory A. Pedrick, C.E.M., project manager buildings R&D, NYSERDA. “We are thrilled that Miller Homes has gone beyond this to not only build more energy-efficiently, but are continuing the educational aspect with a partner like Dow. By doing so they are truly differentiating themselves from other builders in the marketplace.”

To achieve the duplex’s tight building envelope, Miller Homes used a variety of insulation and air sealing materials from Dow Building Solutions. “Building a high performance home starts with sealing the building envelope,” said Joe Barrow, residential solution specialist, Dow Building Solutions. “We collaborated closely with Miller Homes to provide the solutions needed to construct a high-quality and comfortable home with reduced energy requirements.”

Styrofoam Brand Tongue and Groove Insulation was used on above-grade exterior walls and the unvented deck portion of the roof to effectively protect against air infiltration; because of its high compressive strength, two-inch Tongue and Groove was also used under the slab of the foundation.

Superior Walls XI panelized basement walls were installed in the basement utilizing 2.5 in. of Styrofoam Brand Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Foam Insulation. SPF Contractor, Fleetwood Drywall, applied two-pound, closed-cell Styrofoam Brand Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation from band joist to ceiling. To seal and insulate areas around window framing, Weathermate Flashing, Sill Pan and Construction Tape were used, along with Great Stuff Pro Window & Door Insulating Foam Sealant.




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