Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

Advisor 1

Robert Boehm, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Suresh Sadineni

Second Committee Member

Yitung Chen

Graduate Faculty Representative

Yahia Baghzouz

Number of Pages



Pulte Homes, a production home builder and community developer partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America program, has collaborated with the Center for Energy Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and NV Energy, the local electric utility, on an energy conservation project in the Las Vegas Valley.

This study entails four model homes at a new development in the Summerlin community of Las Vegas, Nevada, named Villa Trieste. The home models, ranging in floor plan area from 1,487 to 1,777 square feet, have been constructed under the Environments for Living program and are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum certified. According to the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, all four models are over 50% more efficient than homes of equal size built with standard construction methods.

The study focuses on the cost benefit of including specific energy efficient upgrades in future homes built at the development. Though all proposed upgrades offer reductions in energy use, most offer little improvement relative to their additional installation costs. High-efficiency windows and heat recovery ventilators have been deemed appropriate upgrades for future homes. All homes at the development are to be equipped with photovoltaic arrays; increasing the size of the arrays will reduce net energy consumption in a cost-effective manner.


Building America program; Demonstration homes; Efficiency; Energy conservation; Fiscal savings; Las Vegas; Nevada; Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED); Pulte homes; Residential; Summerlin; Upgrades


Mechanical Engineering | Natural Resources and Conservation | Power and Energy | Sustainability

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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