Green home construction is becoming a bigger (and, in some cases, the biggest) priority for homeowners today. They not only want to reduce their impact on the environment, but they also want to reduce their energy and utility bills.
When you’re in the midst of a brutal Florida heat wave, for example, the last thing you want to worry about is what your AC is costing you! Home should be a refuge; knowing you are minimizing your energy usage is a key part of both your ownership costs and comfort. So, how do you build an energy efficient home?
Start at the Beginning
Homes built after 2000 are about 20 percent more energy efficient than their older counterparts. This is true even though the average size of homes has increased by about 30 percent. Why? Well, technology has improved, as have building techniques.
For example, advanced heating systems have boosted efficiency. Improved windows and insulation allow homeowners to keep cool air inside in the summer and warm air inside during the winter – so their HVAC dollars are not just flying out the window!
Green home construction should begin with designing a tight thermal envelope. This will make every other energy efficient feature even more effective. A thermal envelope is any element of the home that separates inside and outside air.
Your roof, doors, windows, floors, outer walls, and insulation form the envelope, and strategic design allows you to cool air transfer in the summer and heat transfer in the winter. In other words, you’re not going to have to pay to cool or heat the great outdoors.
This is the “foundation,” if you will, of a solid, energy efficient home.
Now, virtually all new construction is much more energy efficient than existing homes. But we can go further. And we do. For example, we use R-20 icynene spray foam insulation in ceilings and attic, compared to a more typical R-30 blown and batt insulation.
This ensures the attic space is only 10-12℉ warmer than the rest of the home, whereas the R-30 attic is an astonishing 44℉ – 64℉ warmer. Imagine battling this during that hot summer. Your cooling costs will be sky-high (or attic high at any rate!).
Another difference: typically, we see single-pane hurricane-impact aluminum windows or non-impact with aluminum shutters. We utilize double-pane hurricane-impact vinyl windows for better insulative properties, safety, comfort, and cost savings.
It is differences like this that make a major difference in your energy usage and costs. Our select high-performance homes are not only 75 percent more efficient than older homes, they are up to 50 percent more efficient than other newly constructed homes. Fifty percent. That is what we can do when we apply the latest technologies, supplies, materials, and techniques.
Pushing the Envelope
Beyond the tight thermal envelope, green home construction also encompasses the use of highly efficient HVAC systems and Energy Star-rated appliances. These operate with much greater efficiency and cost less to run. The math is simple!
If you want a home that offers all the comfort and amenities you want with all of the efficiency and cost-savings you need, contact our team today. We value green home construction just as highly as you do, and our homes are built with exacting care at each phase.
Ready to come home?