Builders and General Contractors can build homes far above the quality level of their competitors in energy efficiency, durability, comfort, and safety. Such homes do not necessarily cost more; in fact, they can cost less than conventional homes because the efficiency impact of various features can be predicted in advance, so money is not wasted on installing features that have minimal impact. An example of this is specifying that HVAC duct leakage be 5% or less of air handler output - which is free - and produces the same whole-house energy reduction as going from a 14 to a 16 seer A/C - which would cost thousands.
Builders and General Contractors who wish to gain a reputation as "green" builders cannot really accomplish this without scientific verification that their homes are actually energy efficient. The only scientifically valid indicator of "greenness" is the HERS Index score, which is standardized across the entire United States, recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Mortgage Industry, and included on a growing number of regional real estate Multi-Listing Services.
The HERS Rating is also an integral part of certifying new homes as both ENERGY STAR Home and Enterprise Green Communities compliant.
Additionally, when Builders and General Contractors are backed by scientific evidence, they have a stronger voice with homeowners and architects about design and construction decisions.
Sub-contractors such as HVAC contractors can use diagnostic testing to verify the quality of their installations. Without scientific testing, claims about the "tightness" of systems are meaningless.
BUILDERS & CONTRACTORS
Add value to your projects by your knowledge and scientific proof of energy efficiency.
Specify the quality level expected from sub-contractors.
Verify through diagnostic testing that this quality level has been achieved.
Develop an indisputable reputation as a green builder.
Differentiate yourself from competitors.
Certify your projects as ENERGY STAR and Enterprise Green Communities compliant and go for the $2,000 per house Energy Efficient Home tax credit.
HVAC sub-contractors - test your work and get quality control on the work of your field crews.
Builders who are presented with a set of plans for a "green" house can get a HERS Rating on the house as-designed. The HERS data quantify how energy efficient the home will actually be - and how much more efficient any contemplated improvement will make it. This indisputable data carries a lot of weight with homeowners and architects and adds to the value you bring to the project.
A HERS Rating from plans can take as little as a day to produce.
Builders often choose diagnostic testing to verify the quality of sub-contractors' work, such as testing HVAC duct leakage, whole house air infiltration, quality of spray foam installation, and carbon monoxide production (and safety) of gas-burning appliances. Such testing is quick and relatively inexpensive.
"I own an Air Conditioning company and I work with a lot of Energy Raters. I have to state the fact that Jon is by far the most thorough. He is very meticulous and pays attention not only to detail, but all aspects of the rating. He gives the homeowner excellent recommendations as to how to reduce their energy usage. He has a very high personal integrity and work ethic. He even came out to my house on a Sunday one day before a deadline to do a rating which took about 5 hours. I recommend him to all of my customers."
Dennis D. - HVAC Contractor