Measuring the Energy Efficiency of Your Custom Home

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Hibbs Homes Meet Multiple Standards for Energy Efficiency and Quality Craftsmanship

As Missouri's Best Energy Efficient Custom Home Builder, we approach every home that we build with energy savings in mind. We strive to provide our clients with a truly better-built custom home - and this starts from the bottom up. Small details such as wall depth, insulation type, caulking and sealing, window quality, and functional systems within the home all add up to make a big difference in each home that we build. Our homes are built above code, tested, and held to the highest standards of quality.

What Is the Home Energy Rating System (HERS)?

The performance of the homes we build is backed by an independent energy rating system, known as the Home Energy Rating System (HERS Index). Upon completion of construction on one of our new custom homes, we hire an independent RESNET Rater to perform an energy efficiency test on the home. During their assessment, they consider things such as:

  • Quality and construction of exterior walls (both above and below grade)
  • Floors over unconditioned spaces (like garages or cellars)
  • Quality and craftsmanship of ceilings and roofs
  • Attics, foundations, and crawlspaces
  • Windows and doors, vents and ductwork
  • Water usage
  • Efficiency of HVAC system, water heating system, and thermostats

In the course of their testing, a HERS Rater will also perform a blower door test to accurately measure air leakage into the home. One of the biggest causes of energy inefficiency in a home is air leakage, which in turn leads to higher HVAC bills and the potential for water and pest infiltration of the home. To measure the energy efficiency of a home, an exterior door is removed from the home and replaced with a modular hard panel or fabric called a blower door. The door contains a calibrated variable speed fan, which is turned on to draw air out of the house. All openings within the home are closed or sealed before testing begins. Using an airflow measurement instrument called a manometer, a technician measures how quickly new air enters the home. A tightly-built energy-efficient home will refill with air more slowly. A drafty house will refill air more quickly, causing air to pass through the fan more quickly.

Once tests are completed, the home is given a HERS rating - which is comparable to a "Miles Per Gallon" sticker on a car. It gives the home a score on its relative performance when compared with typical code-built homes and existing homes. The lower the number, the more energy-efficient the home. The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that a typical existing home scores 130 on the HERS Rating Index, while a typical code-built new construction home built to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code is awarded a rating of 100. An average Hibbs ComfortBuilt Home will score between 29 and 42. A Net Zero home will perform even lower - with a net energy usage of zero.

ComfortBuilt Standards

We are the St. Louis area's only ComfortBuilt-certified home builder. We have partnered with the building scientists at Owens Corning to learn how to continually improve the performance of the homes we built, given the extreme weather fluctuations in the St. Louis region. We took advantage of intentional design and decades worth of research and development to incorporate the latest building science, air sealing and insulation technology from Owens Corning into every home we build. The Owens Corning insulation methods that we've incorporated into our build process include the use of the ProPink Complete Wall System, the Energy Complete Air Sealant, and Blown-In Blanket Insulation. These items help us to prevent air leaks in common areas such as attics, corners, sill plates, windows, and doors.

ENERGY STAR Certification

As an ENERGY STAR Certified Home Builder, every project that we build meets or exceeds the rigorous building standards of the EPA's ENERGY STAR program. You will see, feel, and hear the difference of the fully-integrated approach to design and construction, combined with tried-and-true best building practices that are applied to all homes that achieve this certification. ENERGY STAR homes enjoy:

  • Reduced leaks and drafts thanks to comprehensive air sealing, higher quality doors and windows, and high-quality insulation
  • More consistent temperatures with room-to-room and floor-to-floor consistency
  • Better durability thanks to a comprehensive water management system, including flashing, moisture barriers, heavy-duty membranes, and more
  • Improved indoor air quality because of the tighter building envelope and a high-performance filter designed to reduce dust, pollen, and allergens

 

 


Interested in building a better-built custom home? Set up a time to talk with our team about how we would approach a design/build project on your land. Contact us today to learn more about our higher quality craftsmanship and green building practices.

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