Green Building Authority

Green Building Authority

Homeowners want them. The MLS is listing them. Are you building them? Guess how many homes in Texas were measured using the HERS Index in 2013?  45,365!  3,401 was the combined average for all other states.

HERS RATINGS The HERS Index provides homebuyers with an easy to understand metric for a homes energy efficiency.  The HERS Rating actually gives buyers a means of comparing the cost-effectiveness of the homes energy efficient features with other homes.  For builders the HERS Ratings provide an easy to use tool to differentiate themselves from the competition, while at the same time giving their customers the energy efficient features they want. A home energy rating involves an analysis of a home’s construction plans and onsite inspections. Based on the home’s plans, the Home Energy Rater uses an energy efficiency software package to perform an energy analysis of the home’s design. This analysis yields a projected, pre-construction HERS Index. Since a rating quantifies the energy performance of a home, the HERS Index provides an easily understandable means to compare the relative energy efficiency of different homes.  And a home energy rating is a recognized tool in the mortgage industry.  To learn more why asking for the HERS Index of a home is the smart way to sell and buy a home click here – RESNET HERS Index.

ENERGY STAR FOR NEW HOMES ENERGY STAR certified new homes are designed and built to standards well above most other homes on the market today, delivering energy efficiency savings of up to 30 percent when compared to typical new homes. A new home that has earned the ENERGY STAR label has undergone a process of inspections, testing, and verification to meet strict requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), delivering better quality, better comfort, and better durability. When ENERGY STAR requirements are applied to new home construction, an integrated approach to design combined with tried-and-true best building practices adds up to a home with better durability, comfort and reduced utility and maintenance costs. ENERGY STAR certified homes are designed and built to include value-adding energy efficiency features and a combination of materials and equipment that deliver better performance.  Many of these features are behind walls, in the attic, and under the foundation. ENERGY STAR certified new homes offer better energy efficiency and performance compared to other homes, making them a better value  for today and a better investment  for tomorrow.

    Homes earning the ENERGY STAR label use 20-30 percent less energy  than typical new homes, and even more when compared to most resale homes on the market today. Together, families who purchased homes earning the ENERGY STAR label save more than $350 million each year  on their utility bills. Should the time come to consider selling, the ENERGY STAR label will set the home apart as something better: a home of genuine quality, comfort, and efficiency .

LEED FOR HOMES LEED for Homes is a rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. Green homes use less energy, water and natural resources, create less waste, and are more durable and comfortable for occupants.

LEED for Homes is a national, voluntary certification system developed by national experts and experienced builders that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes built with sustainable practices. This program includes affordable housing, mass-production homes, custom designs, stand-alone single-family homes, duplexes and townhouses, suburban and urban apartments and condominiums and lofts in historic buildings.  LEED homes use less energy, water and natural resources, create less waste, and are more durable and comfortable for occupants.

LEED for Homes   certification is based on 18 prerequisites and 67 credits. The prerequisites are mandatory for every project, and no points are awarded for meeting them. To achieve certification, project teams earn credit points by exceeding the minimum standards of the prerequisites. A total of 136 credit points is available within 8 categories. Required third-party verification and performance testing differentiate and add value to the LEED for Homes rating system.

One of the core strengths of the LEED for Homes program is that the green components are all verified by a third party. Third-party verification is essential to the integrity of the program because it gives prospective home buyers confidence and reassurance.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY | ZERO ENERGY READY HOME The Zero Energy Ready Home is a way for builders to be recognized as a leader. Eventually Zero Energy Ready Home is promoting zero energy ready homes across the country. Every Challenge Home offers a cost-effective, high performance package of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability unparalleled in today’s marketplace.

Since 2008, the U.S. Department of Energys (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home program has recognized hundreds of leading builders for their achievements in energy efficiency—resulting in over 14,000 energy efficient homes and millions of dollars in energy savings. The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home — an ambitious successor to the Builders Challenge program — represents a whole new level of home performance, with rigorous requirements that ensure outstanding levels of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability.

The Building Technologies Program (BTP) offers recognition to leading edge builders meeting extraordinary levels of excellence through the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program. By taking the challenge, builders gain competitive advantage in the marketplace by providing their customers with unparalleled energy savings, quality, comfort, health, durability, and much more.  And all DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes are verified by a qualified third-party.

Green Building Authority

AUSTIN ENERGY GREEN BUILDING | EXTENDED AREA Austin Energy Green Building promotes the design, construction, and operation of higher-quality, more-sustainable buildings.  This local trailblazing program is the oldest green building program in the country, and is designed to reflect Central Texas’ hot-humid climate, resources, and building conditions.  The City of Austin created the nation’s first green building program in 1990. Austin Energy Green Building  is now the nation’s most successful sustainable building program. Austin Energy Green Building:

  • Is a model for other green building programs nationwide.
  • Was the first green building program in the nation.
  • Promotes progressive changes to national and international energy conservation codes.
  • Received awards from the National Association of Homebuilders and the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Is a charter member of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Austin Energy’s Residential Green Building Program promotes the design, construction, and operation of higher-quality, more-sustainable buildings and rates projects on a scale of one to five stars, with five stars as the greenest. As a AEGB trained and certified Extended Area Rater  we offer builder support, inspections, and compliance reviews of program credits. We also submit documentation for review and certification.  We help construction professionals achieve higher-quality results by emphasizing green-building principles and teamwork at every stage of a project.

IECC CODE COMPLIANCE | DIAGNOSTIC TESTING Our Diagnostics and Building Performance Tests will provide you with detailed scientific results using a wide variety of equipment.  Building solely to the code-minimum is building just to the minimum acceptable by law. One small oversight, and suddenly illegal homes are being built, potentially without the builders knowledge. Using an independent third-party to test and verify the homes is the clear pathway to building profitable high-performance homes. Scientific Building Performance and Diagnostic Testing will provide you with detailed results on your homes energy features using a wide variety of equipment and is extremely useful for building forensics.  The results will show if your home passes required code compliance, or passes green rating program requirements.  Our Testing can include any of the following:

    Duct System Leakage System Static Pressure Room Pressure Differential Thermal Infrared Imaging Air Balancing Combustion Appliance Safety Testing Building Envelope Infiltration Building Pressure Differential Vapor Air Flow Data Logger Information Gathering

HOME ENERGY AUDIT A Home Energy Audit  is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes, and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. Our audits provide your home with a comprehensive inspection of your living environment, and show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant money over time, and immediately impact the environment in a positive way. During the inspection, we will pinpoint where your home is losing energy and determine the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems. We will also show you ways to conserve hot water and electricity. We use a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of a structure. When should you have a Comprehensive Home Energy Audit?

    If you want lower utility bills for the life of your home. If you want to increase your home’s value. Before you sell your home. Before you buy a home. Before you install solar panels or other renewable energy sources. Before you replace your HVAC system. Before you renovate your home. If your home has comfort or health issues. If you want to be more environmentally conscious.

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