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TxAIRE Research and Demonstration Houses

Texas Allergy, Indoor Environment,and Energy (TxAIRE) Institute

The Texas Allergy, Indoor Environment and Energy (TxAIRE) Institute was created to be a catalyst for the identification, development, demonstration, evaluation and promotion of technology products that improve the energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality of buildings.  More energy efficient and healthier buildings are the two primary elements of the rapidly expanding “green building” market. 

That market is projected to grow by 300 Billion dollars in the U.S.  In Texas, sustainable development will become increasingly important as rapid population growth (approximately 1000 people per day) increasingly stress land, water and energy resources.  TxAIRE’s role in the creation and commercialization of new building products that meet the needs of this growing marketplace will increase job creation and retention in Texas for both existing and new companies.  The TxAIRE Research and Demonstration Houses will be a primary pathway by which TxAIRE showcases and evaluates these new products.

The TxAIRE Research and Demonstration Houses have been designed to serve as realistic test facilities for developing and demonstrating new technologies related to energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and sustainable construction materials and methods.  Two TxAIRE houses are being constructed on the UT Tyler campus.  The first of these (“Tyler House”) demonstrates a wide range of energy efficiency renovation features that result in a house that will consume only 50% of the energy used by an average home.  Our second house (“Patriot House”) is even more efficient.  Through the use of a wide array of components, it will be capable of generating all of the energy that it requires over the course of the year – a “net-zero energy” home.  Energy efficiency products from many Texas based companies will be showcased in these TxAIRE Homes.  The over-arching goal of the TxAIRE Houses project is to demonstrate that “net-zero” energy performance can be achieved at a cost that is competitive with conventional house construction – approximately $135/ft2

The TxAIRE Houses are fully instrumented testbeds, making possible full testing and analyses of roof, wall, window, and slab building envelope components.  All mechanical systems are also fully instrumented, and include multiple systems to facilitate comparison of performance.   A wide range of energy efficiency projects are being scheduled for the TxAIRE Houses.  These range from verification of building envelope products such as high reflectivity roofing shingles and reflective barrier wraps, to sophisticated geothermal ground-loop cooling systems that combine several technologies to achieve new hybrid HVAC system performance.  In several areas, prototype hardware concepts that will be tested in the TxAIRE houses should result in patented new products for both companies as well as for UT Tyler researchers

More detailed information on the houses can be found on the specifications page.

Funding

Funding for the TxAIRE Homes has been provided by The State of Texas from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund and The University of Texas at Tyler.

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