TxAIRE Homes Information

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

New Location of the TxAIRE Houses on the UT Tyler campus. Ground breaking begins on House #1.
TxAIRE House #1 slab prepped and ready for concrete. TxAIRE House #1 slab being poured.
TxAIRE House #1 frame is coming together. TxAIRE House #1 frame almost complete.
TxAIRE House #1 frame complete. Houses 1 (right) and 2 (left) with roofing and house wrap installed prior to laying brick. House 1 is roofed with conventional architectural shingles while House 2 is roofed with a new type of shingle with significantly higher solar reflectance to provide a cooler roof during summer days.
House 1 (left) has a ventilated attic and insulated ceilings with three types of roof ventilators. House 2 (right) has an unvented attic with an insulated roof deck that will result in a conditioned attic which should significantly improve the performance of the mechanical equipment and ductwork in that attic. Interior view of typical wall framing in House 1. This house uses 2"x4" studs on 16” centers with double 2"x6" headers, a double top plate, and double studs along each door and window opening.
Interior view of "advanced" wall framing in House 2. This house uses 2"x6" studs on 24" centers with a single 2”x6” header, a single top plate, and a single stud along each door and window opening. Metal tie plates are used to support the header which is moved up to the top plate so that it can support the ceiling and roof load without the need for additional short studs. Overall, this advanced framing technique resulted in 13% less wood use in the wall framing while allowing a 50% increase in wall insulation compared to House 1. Insulated wall test sections in House 1. The white insulation on the left is blown-in glass fiber insulation which is used throughout the house. The yellow insulation on the right is glass fiber batt insulation. Both sections are instrumented with temperature sensors so that we can collect performance data throughout the year.
Insulated wall test sections in House 2. The white insulation in the center is blown-in glass fiber insulation as is used in House 1. The greenish colored insulation is sprayed open-cell foam insulation that is used throughout House 2. Sheetrock clip as used in House 2. These clips are used for supporting sheetrock in place of wood backing to save lumber costs and improve the insulation values of the exterior walls.
Insulated exterior walls in House 2. Note the sheetrock clips that are installed in each inside corner in place of an additional stud. Eliminating these studs saves material and reduces “thermal bridging” to the outside. Close up view of an installed sheetrock clip. The clip is nailed to the stud on the right and the sheetrock is screwed through the perforated section on the left side of the clip.