Theresa Gilbride, building energy-efficiency scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), has been invited to join a new task group formed for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.
As part of an initiative by HUD to develop a set of Residential Resilience Guidelines for home builders, several task groups were formed to address disaster resistance in homes due to hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires.
Gilbride is a member of the Wind Task Group, which is focused on developing construction guidance to make homes more resistant to hurricanes and high winds. This task group will develop a set of disaster resistance guidelines that offer good, better, and best construction practices to builders and contractors who are building new homes and remodeling existing homes.
The task groups are organized by the Home Innovation Research Labs, an organization dedicated to improving the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of homes and home building products.
The Wind Task Group consists of approximately 30 members representing the building and engineering communities, government, and academia. Members of the group are from organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, and the National Association of Home Builders, along with several home builders and architects.
At PNNL, Gilbride, who is a member of the Energy Policy and Economics group, performs research in support of the Building America Program, which is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Building Technologies Office. PNNL developed and maintains the Building America Solution Center for DOE, an online resource providing usable, best practice guidance for the home building industry. The Center receives about 1,600 visits per day.
“We are adding disaster resistance content to the Solution Center this year, including guidance for building homes to be more high-wind, earthquake, and flood resistant, with more disaster types to follow in the years ahead, such as wildfires, winter weather, pests, and more,” said Gilbride. “We will be evaluating ways to coordinate our content with the new HUD content.”
Gilbride also supports DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Homes program, where she works with leading builders across the country who are constructing high-performance homes with a goal of achieving net-zero energy homes that produce as much energy as they use in a year.
Says Gilbride, “In my years with the program, it’s been amazing to watch the developments in the home construction industry. The Building America and Zero Energy Ready Home programs are proving that efficient, durable, healthy, and comfortable zero energy ready homes can be built today, in every price point, across America.”