Green building is not just using low V.O.C. paint and fiber cement siding. A home’s architectural design is just as important as the way it’s built. From orientation on the site to the size and placement of windows, and sourcing of material. We can help you design your home to maximize its efficiency while maintaining livability and cost. We work in direct relationship with architects and owners to help integrate energy efficient green building practices and techniques into the design.
“What does building ‘green’ mean?”-
This is the most common question asked by prospective clients looking to build their new home, and while there are many levels of green you can build to, our definition of green building remains the same:
“To create, within a given budget, the most energy efficient home we can while striving to decrease the amount of raw materials used, land disturbed, and maintaining the healthiest indoor air quality possible.”
“Why should I build green?”-
The benefits of building green can be felt in your health, your checkbook, and your conscience. First, truly green built homes drastically reduce the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the home by up 50% or more. This savings is increased by local power companies which currently provide a 5% discount on your electric bills for the life of your home. With energy costs on a one way track, building green can save you money. Certified green homes also experience a higher resale value in the home marketplace.
The second reason to build green is your health. Over the years, advances in building science have given us homes that don’t ‘breathe’ anymore. Sealing those drafts helped our comfort level, but is it also stopped any sort of air exchange from happening. Imagine a submarine that can’t come up for air. Our indoor air can be full of harmful pollutants, chemicals, and allergens often worse than outside. Certified green buildings must include systems that continually bring fresh, filtered air into the home while exhausting old air outside. This equals better health for you and your family.
“How do I know the home is really green?”-
Every home Longview Builders completes is certified by a third party inspector trained in the Home Energy Rating System (H.E.R.S.) These third party home energy raters make inspections and test the homes efficiency at several points throughout the construction process. After the homes completion and all requirements are met, the home becomes both Energy Star Certified and Green Built NC Certified as recognized by Western North Carolina Green Building Council, the Green Built NC Homes Program, and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The HERS Index is a scoring system established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) in which a home built to the current International Energy Conservation Code acts as a ‘reference home’ and scores a HERS Index of 100. Each 1-point decrease in the HERS Index score of a home corresponds to a 1% reduction in energy consumption compared to the HERS Reference Home. Thus a home with a HERS Index of 85 is 15% more energy efficient than the HERS Reference Home and a home with a HERS Index of 80 is 20% more energy efficient and so on. The following gives a brief comparison of different homes and typical scores they receive:
Standard new construction (reference home): 100
Standard new Energy Star Certified home: 85
Standard new Healthy Built Certified home: 75
Average 20 year old home: 150
Average 70+ year old home: 250+
AVERAGE Longview Builders NC Certified Home: 60
That means that our customers are using less than 60% of the energy that a standard new home uses. Additionally, unlike other energy assessment, a HERS Index is a recognized tool in the mortgage industry and many lenders offer lower rates for homes that meet certain HERS Index numbers.
If you have any questions about healthy built homes, or home building in general, contact us.