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The BARA Initiative

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Building America Energy Efficient Remodel

In 2011/2012, NVESP-GREEN Alliance teamed up with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Retrofit Alliance Team (BARA), in a community outreach initiative to educate and support the contracting industry, as well as homeowners, in learning about new industry methods and the benefits of home energy efficiency upgrades.

This collaborative project was made possible through the effort and support of national and local partnerships: National Partners consist of: U.S. DOE Building America Retrofit Alliance, NREL, Stephen Winters Group, This Old House, Builders Media Inc. Local Partners Consist of: Nevada ENERGY STAR Partners - GREEN Alliance, Better Building Performance, City of Las Vegas, HomeFree Nevada and Green Chips.

By leveraging the strategic partnerships, the NESP-GREEN Alliance was able to multiply each partners contribution through effective collaboration. This pilot project has set the tone for a future community scale project.

To accomplish this, two foreclosed homes from the City of Las Vegas’ Neighborhood Stabilization Program were selected for renovations and remodeling with 30% and 50% energy use reduction goals.

The NVESP-GREEN Alliance selected the Carmen and Sierra Hills homes for the energy efficiency remodel as they represent homes in size and age with characteristics common in Southern Nevada and nationally.  Utilizing the 'Whole Home' approach we were able to achieve optimum performance while improving comfort, health and energy efficiency.    

The project was broken into two phases during the renovation and post renovation with Industry Training and Community Outreach.

Phase 1: Remodeling of the selected homes - the Carmen and the Sierra Hills. An initial energy assessment was performed and a work scope was established for the renovation. During the renovation, the homes served as laboratories for necessary training to help ready the industry for new demands in the market. NVESP-GREEN Alliance organized hands-on training programs led by nationally recognized industry leaders and identified funding affording local contractors the opportunity to learn about the science and application of home energy efficiency upgrades and gain first-hand experience with sophisticated yet practical new techniques. Videos were captured during this process in order to offer residual education once the project was finished. The videos are available at: thinkenergystar.com/bara     

Phase 2: The energy efficiency remodel demonstration homes were completed in February 2012 and are available for tours through January 2013. The Carmen is staged as a model with signage and materials on the features and benefits of the newly energy efficient remodel home. The tour provides homeowners with a simplified, quality assured experience and informs them about the process; from selecting a contractor, customizing a plan, and qualifying for the incentives that make upgrades affordable. The tour leads the guest to the Nevada State Office of Energy's statewide initiative 'EnergyFit Nevada' provider HomeFree Nevada and to the Green Chips loan funded by Nevada State Bank.

The NVSP-GREEN Alliance was able to leverage their annual marketing campaign budget to further the collaborative effort by providing radio and print to promote tours and special events.

The outreach campaign includes: Press Release on Grand Opening, Public Relations, Advertising, Events, Tours, Videos, Radio, Print Ads, Newsletters, Neighborhood Events, Green Ally Tours/Events, Open to Public for tours, Saturday Open House Events, Exhibits at Community Events, Presentations  at Green Ally Meetings.

The overall project was made possible by leveraging our partnerships, both public and private, and multiplying each contribution through established partnerships.  NESP - GREEN Alliance raised over $150,000 in local sponsorship for education, staging model and outreach campaign including NV Energy, Southwest Gas, HomeFree Nevada, Caesars Foundation, Nevada SESP and GREEN Alliance Annual Multi-Media Marketing campaign.  A total of $220,000 was contributed in materials and labor via manufacturers donation, Better Building Performance, student labor and community volunteer labor. Homes are provided by City of Las Vegas for the duration of the project.

The pilot project is an example to other markets nationally and for a future community scale project in 2013.  As well as, a lab for local and national case study for the appraiser industry.

More than ever, it's easy for consumers to be confused about the myriad of green programs and products, associated claims, and ever-changing technologies. Programs like Nevada ENERGY STAR Partners - GREEN Alliance provide important forums to hear industry experts and diverse perspectives so consumers can make informed decisions."

~Sam Rashkin, 
 Chief Architect, US Dept. of Energy/ Past National Director, ENERGY STAR for Homes

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