PATH Cooperative Research Program (PATH CoRP)

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In June 2000, PATH CoRP awarded six technology development grants. PATHCoRP was a competitive grant program that, like all PATH technology development initiatives, assists businesses in the final development stages prior to market introduction.

AeRock, LLC, Littleton, Colorado
Innovative Fiber Fly Ash Composite Structural Insulated Panel Building System
AeRock is in the testing phase of the development of an entirely new, low-cost, lightweight building material. Inspired by technology developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory, the panels use a thin-walled, large-celled honeycomb structure made from fiber fly ash cement with high insulation foam. Fly ash is a waste byproduct of coal power generation, produced in excess of 50 million tons every year in the United States. AeRock is currently working to optimize the extrusion process.

Steven Winter Associates, Inc., Norwalk, Connecticut
Development of an Energy Saving Thermostat with Variable Deadband Control for Residential Buildings
Development of a variable-deadband thermostat will reduce cycling of conventional HVAC systems. The deadband will increase during the heating season when the outside air temperature is milder and for relatively mild periods during the cooling season in areas without high humidity levels. This technology will allow comfort to be maintained while saving 10 to 15 percent of energy use and increasing the life of the mechanical equipment. The technology is simple and inexpensive, with probably just a few months’ payback. The firm is now working on developing of a prototype thermostat.

Benchmark Resources, Inc., Auburn Hills, Michigan
Insulated Concrete Panel Technology
Benchmark has conceived of a new construction method featuring an insulated concrete panel that reduces labor costs and construction time and can be installed at a cost low enough to serve the middle and affordable markets. The proposed technology will use uncut 4 ft x 8 ft or 8 ft x 8 ft sheets of extruded polystyrene fused at minimal joint intersections to create an unbroken envelope surrounding the concrete. Benchmark has completed the development of both their foundation and above-ground wall systems. They have installed a number of walls for residences in the Detroit area. Benchmark received code approval for their wall system from the State of Michigan earlier this year. This is the first of the PATH CoRP-funded technologies to have entered the market.

W. Brandt Goldsworthy & Associates, Inc., Torrance, California
Goldsworthy Innovative Fabrication Technology (GIFT) Housing
This technology package consists of automated fabrication of structural insulated panels by pultrusion and novel snaplock joining technology. The project benchmarks a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1200-sq. ft. GIFT-house that is completely assembled in four hours with unskilled labor. The on-site assembly can occur in virtually all weather conditions allowing year-round home construction. The projected cost of this home is $27,786 and includes kitchen, electrical, plumbing, heating, and appliances.

Persimmon Homes, LLC, Washington, Georgia
Creating a Building System Optimized for Delivering Affordable, Durable, and Energy Efficient Single-Family Homes to Locations Where Construction Tradesmen are Scarce
Persimmon Homes, a builder of custom homes, proposes to develop designs and a factory system to produce affordable modular homes. The proposed project will develop three designs for homes with a minimum of 1500 sq. ft. each, which will meet or exceed CABO specifications, with a target manufacturing cost of $50,000. Persimmon is completing the installation of the Enterprise Resource Planning software that will be used to plan and manage their manufacturing operation.

PowerLight Corporation, Berkeley, California
SunTile Solar Roofing: Natural Cooling and Electricity Generation
The SunTile project will bring to manufacturing and market readiness in 1 year a residential roofing product that produces on-site solar electricity while significantly decreasing house-cooling loads. The technology is a roof-cooling tile that contains integrated photovoltaics (PV) for the south, east, and west slopes of the roof and a non-PV tile for the north slope. PowerLight is currently installing SunTile systems at three sites. Two systems will be installed at residences in Northern California. The third system will be installed at the Florida Solar Energy Center. This installation will not only provide performance data, but will be tested side-by-side with a conventional shingle roof for comparison. All three sites will be monitored for a period of 1 year to gather performance data. Testing of these sites will begin in June 2001.

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