The Low Down on High Performance Envelope Retrofits

CARD Webinar

October 19, 2021 | 11am-12pm


Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources
Event Description

Lowering space heating loads through improvements to existing single family building envelopes is the largest building energy efficiency and natural gas savings opportunity in Minnesota. It is larger than all other residential efficiency measures combined. Conventional weatherization measures cost-effectively improve building envelope efficiency but are limited to less than 20 percent savings on average. Significantly larger improvements in envelope efficiency are possible and likely necessary to meet state energy savings and emissions goals.

In this webinar Josh Quinnell from the Center for Energy and Environment will discuss results from a recent CARD project that investigated moving beyond weatherization to consider the next steps in envelope efficiency. Josh will discuss barriers and opportunities uncovered through direct outreach with key stakeholders. He will present results from a model developed to understand variations in existing building stock and how they impact space heating loads and the costs of efficiency measures to reduce those loads.

The model specifically examined conventional weatherization measures, several types of continuous exterior insulation, and window upgrades necessary to achieve a target 50 percent improvement in envelope efficiency across the single family building stock. The model also estimates incremental project costs and cost-effectiveness as a function of the underlying building characteristics.

While cost-effectiveness remains a barrier on average, results suggest that cost-effective outcomes are possible on up to half the building stock for many different types of envelope efficiency packages including weatherization, continuous exterior insulation, and window improvements. A key finding is that high performance envelope measures, and even conventional weatherization measures warrant significantly more attention and resources given the staggering energy used for space heating in Minnesota’s single family homes.

This webinar is part of a series of webinars hosted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources on recently completed Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) projects. The researchers who conducted each study will present their findings, discuss implications, and answer your questions.


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