Nationally, there is increasing interest in energy efficient homes due to growing energy costs and increased awareness. However, many builders haven't yet incorporated energy saving products and practices into homes. Many builders don't have the resources to evaluate available options and prefer to rely on the experiences of other builders. The purpose of this study was to create energy efficiency benchmarks for cold-weather, high-end custom homes and evaluate current building practices. A list of energy-efficient products and practices was created through a review of relevant literature. A group of expert builders was formed into a committee to help determine energy inefficiencies in cold-weather, high-end custom homes. The committee also helped establish criteria used to evaluate building products and practices. Finally, the committee helped create a survey that was sent to a larger community of builders. Energy Star Builders in Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming were selected to take part in the survey. They were asked to evaluate their experience with energy-efficient products and practices and give recommendations in overcoming specific inefficiencies of cold-weather, high-end custom homes. Payback calculations were performed on the products and practices identified in the survey to further evaluate their importance. From the review of literature, interviews with the committee of experts, the builders' survey responses, and the payback calculations, a list of 22 energy efficiency benchmarks was created for building cold-weather, high-end custom homes.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





construction management, cold weather, high end, custom homes, energy efficiency, Jackson, Vail, Park City, Sun Valley, Energy Star



Technology Emphasis

Construction Management (CM)