ENERGY STAR CERTIFIED HOMES
Energy Star for Homes is a Department of Energy standard for building energy efficient new homes. The standard includes a HERS RATING with a certain HERS score requirement, as well as compliance with numerous detailed construction checklists.
Energy Star homes are generally 30%-50% more energy efficient than typical code-built new homes and certification is often a funding requirement of affordable housing lenders.
Building an Energy Star Certified Home is "challenging" the first time. There are a myriad opportunities to screw up.
Our speciality is keeping homeowners/builders from making mistakes
that cause re-work and extra cost.
1. Step one is to model the house from plans to determine if it meets the HERS score threshold.
2. Then model the home with different materials and equipment to "value engineer" the structure.
3. Get the builder and HVAC contractor approved as Energy Star Partners.
4. Start building. After insulating walls, get a Pre-Drywall Inspection by the Energy Rater.
5. Upon completion, get the Energy Rater's Final Inspection.
The certification requires compliance with about 200 items on the ...
- Rater Design Review Checklist
- Rater Field Checklist
- HVAC Design Report
- HVAC Commissioning Checklist
- Builder Water Management Checklist
Energy Star homes are built better than the average new home.
- Advanced framing gets more insulation into walls
- Installation of insulation leaves no voids, gaps or compression
- Air sealing is tighter
- Windows usually block more heat entry
- Air conditioner size is scientifically calculated by requirement to use Manual J
- Inside air handler has high-efficiency motor
- Fresh ventilation air is required
- Exhaust fans are tested to ensure sufficient air is removed
- HVAC system leakage is tested and reduced to Energy Star standards, which are more stringent than code
- Workmanship is enhanced by checklists
Energy Star houses don't cost more than lessor houses
- Energy modeling from plans allows value engineering up-front
- Checklist requirements and inspections and testing by a third party ensure key equipment and installations
are done right - and don't cost you a bunch of money in a few years