January 17, 2023

EMPOWERED Solutions: High Performance Homes and Material Safety

Learn about the efficient construction materials and systems we are most likely to see in 2023 and what it means for you.
A worker with a blue hard hat opens an air conditioner for repair work.

View the Webinar:

You can also access this EMPOWERED Solutions webinar series in the free learning management system, CleanEnergyTraining.org. Each recorded webinar is broken up by presentation to make it easier for you to listen in to the topics that you are most interested in. Make it a lunch and learn! Click here to sign up.

2023 will usher in an unprecedented year for energy efficient buildings. If you are a building owner or developer, you may be considering constructing or retrofitting your building with efficient materials. If you are a code official, you are likely to be inspecting buildings constructed with different materials and systems. And if you are involved in any aspect of building fire safety, you probably have questions about the safety of these efficient building materials. Building materials have long been studied to learn about their impacts on building durability, but only recently have the materials and systems been examined to look at fire performance as well. This webinar discusses these issues in depth.

Topics include:

  • Types of efficient building materials including spray foam and structurally insulated panels (SIPs). 
  • How to use a free website that provides expert advice on building envelope system performance.
  • Available pre-assessment tool to save time and money on projects by helping to review existing health and safety conditions.
  • Initial evaluation of the fire performance of selected efficient building systems.


  • Sean DeCrane, International Association of Fire Fighters
  • Edward Louie, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 
  • Andre Desjarlais, Oak Ridge National Laboratory 
  • Joe Pasma, Enercept


  1. Interstate Renewable Energy Council Slides
  2. International Association of Fire Fighters Slides
  3. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Slides
  4. Oak Ridge National Laboratory Slides
  5. Enercept Slides

Additional Resources:

  1. Building American Solution Center
  2. Building Science Advisor
  3. Structural Insulated Panel Association

This material was developed by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). It is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Award Number DE-EE0009455 (“EMPOWERED”). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Energy or the United States Government.