FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - BASF Corp. has launched the www.betterhomebetterplanet.com Website, a learning tool about how to build homes that are 80 percent more energy efficient, disaster resistant, faster to construct, and affordable, says the company.

The Website features an interactive, multimedia presentation on the BASF Near-Zero Energy Home, part of the company's Better Home Better Planet initiative and now under construction in Paterson, N.J. Slated to open for tours in the spring of 2006, the Near-Zero Energy Home has been selected by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as a pilot test for the recently launched Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes (LEED-H) rating system. Based on current estimates, the Near-Zero Energy Home will also achieve a Housing Energy Rating Score (HERS) Energy Star® score of 93 - the highest rating received to date under New Jersey's Energy Star program.

The www.betterhomebetterplanet.com Website steps the visitor through the home using a systems approach that integrates the three key elements to high-performance building - the building exterior, mechanical HVAC, and solar power, says the company.

"The launch of www.betterhomebetterplanet.com and the demonstration home are in keeping with BASF's long standing commitment to sustainable development and bringing cost-effective solutions to the building and construction industry - especially in cities like Paterson, N.J., where cost savings achieved through improved energy efficiency and low-maintenance durability are most needed," according to Jack Armstrong, business manager for BASF's Styropor® and expanded polystyrene business in North America.

Once the construction and demonstration phases are completed, the Near Zero Energy Home will be donated to the nonprofit St. Michael's Housing Corp. as a home for a local family with a quadriplegic son.

Publication date: 01/23/2006