Whole Home Energy Efficiency: Part 1

January 24, 2013

When we look at the energy efficiency of a home we look at the entire home as a system. Not only do we keep in mind the beauty and functionality as we create your home, but also the building materials, systems, and products are selected with energy savings as part of the big picture in long-term home ownership. Our next two posts will detail the 15 areas we consider when building our EnergyAdvantage homes. Perimeter insulation in foundation - By insulating the foundation it provides a vapor and radon barrier that eliminates basement dampness and adds thermal resistance (R-value) to the foundation. R38 attic Insulation - The attic is by far one of the most important areas of your home to insulate. More heat and air-conditioning is lost through improperly insulated roofs in older homes than any other single area of the home. Insulation levels are specified by R-values. R-values indicate the ability for insulation to block heat traveling through it. This is important both in heating and cooling your home. An R38 value attic insulation hits the high end of insulating standards. Tyvek weather resistant house wrap - This important weather barrier is installed prior to completion of the exterior. Not only does this barrier protect against air and water infiltration, it also allows harmful moisture vapor to escape the wall cavity. This product in turn contributes to U.S. Green Building Council LEED points for Energy & Atmosphere, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building program. Extruded polystyrene R-3 insulated Sheathing - This is rigid foam insulation for exterior walls. It is comprised of millions of densely packed air cells that insulate while providing a virtually impenetrable moisture barrier that prevents R-value loss. This product is easier to work with than plywood and has no problems with settling and sagging over time. Blown-in insulation R15 - The key to providing great insulation is making sure there are no air leaks. With blown in insulation this helps fill the areas where air may leak. Third-party energy inspection - In order to carry a HERS score (Home Energy Rating Score) we bring in outside inspectors to do an independent energy evaluation of our homes. Energy Star appliances - These are appliances that fit the international standard for energy efficient consumer products. These are just some of the systems and products we use to make homes that serve both form and function when it comes to owning a new home. Saving energy is great, saving money is even more important. Our EnergyAdvantage homes help you do both. Keep an eye out for Part 2 and more energy saving systems, products and techniques we use to construct our homes.
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