Data loggers track energy efficiency in green construction study

Feb. 16, 2015

Onset has announced that Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) is using Onset HOBO UX100 temperature/relative humidity data loggers in a green construction project designed to train students in energy auditing, combustion testing, and retrofitting existing homes to make them more energy efficient.

The project, which is part of GNTC’s Residential Energy Efficiency Technology program, involved the construction of two test houses—one built using typical construction techniques used over the past few decades, and the other built under new green and energy-efficient specifications using new materials and techniques with EarthCraft House ratings.

The compact, affordable HOBO UX100 data loggers, which feature an easy-to-view LCD display and large memory capacity, were deployed in crawl spaces and attics of both houses to measure and record temperature and relative humidity around the clock over the next year. Data from the loggers will be analyzed and used to prove energy-efficiency gains realized with new green building and energy-efficient construction techniques.

Donny Holmes, Program Director & Instructor of Construction Management, explained, “The data loggers are collecting data every six hours in the two test houses. One of the houses is built similar to the majority of houses in the U.S. The other house is an EarthCraft House and was built under new green building and energy efficiency standards. The data loggers will be able to visually provide proof to many contractors, building inspectors, homeowners, etc. that building with energy efficiency in mind is really the most beneficial way to build.”

According to Holmes, the crawl space in the EarthCraft house is totally sealed with a 26-mil vapor barrier, and the walls are insulated, with no ventilation except for a dehumidifier. The other is a vented crawl with minimal vapor barrier, where humidity levels will likely be very high compared to levels in the EarthCraft House. The data loggers will prove this out and provide logic and reason for building green, energy-efficient houses.

“These data loggers will be a huge part of this ongoing project. They will provide the needed data that we can share with many others to prove energy efficiency and that building this way is just smart,” said Holmes.

About Georgia Northwestern Technical College

The fifth largest technical college in the state of Georgia, GNTC is Northwest Georgia’s largest college and its premier college for workforce development. With an annual credit enrollment of 8,200 students, GNTC has five convenient campus locations, two of which offer the Residential Energy Efficiency Technology program. To learn more, visit

About Earthcraft

Developed in 1999 by the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and Southface, EarthCraft is the Southeast’s standard for green building. EarthCraft’s certification program promotes energy-efficient, healthy, comfortable, and durable homes, workplaces, and communities. To learn more, visit

About the Author

Rick Nelson | Contributing Editor

Rick is currently Contributing Technical Editor. He was Executive Editor for EE in 2011-2018. Previously he served on several publications, including EDN and Vision Systems Design, and has received awards for signed editorials from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He began as a design engineer at General Electric and Litton Industries and earned a BSEE degree from Penn State.

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