June 6, 2012
Energy efficient home design and building is here to stay. Homebuilders are no longer building energy efficient homes as an “upgrade” or an “add-on,” but as a must-have standard. With rising energy costs and an economy that makes every family carefully aware of how they manage their expenditures, energy efficient design and green building can be a huge cost saver.
According to John Mcllwain in his recent article in Urban Land Magazine, there are definite signs that the industry is changing its thoughts on this topic.
“The shift is perhaps happening fastest in the single-family home industry as it looks for whatever it can find to move its homes. Green, it turns out, is the most effective way to sell a home; buyers find it more appealing to buy a home that is already efficient than a less expensive home that needs major retrofitting as well as new appliances and HVAC systems.” Energy efficient doesn’t just mean solar. It means incorporating sustainable technologies and smart construction techniques that lower the cost of lighting, cooling, heating and water usage. We are seeing this first-hand in all of our communities.
Meritage Homes launched their first net-zero house on Earth Day last year in our Verrado community. The green home is designed to produce as much energy as it uses annually. The sustainable home incorporates energy and money saving features such as spray-foam installation, ENERGY STAR® appliances and programmable thermostat, Low-E2 windows, SEER 14 HVAC system, CFL lighting and fixtures, weather-sensing irrigation and water-efficient fixtures.
Energy efficiency is important for every homebuyer, no matter the price point of their home. The National Association of Homebuilders awarded The Sterling development in our Silverleaf community, the Gold-level certification in their green building program, NAHBGreen. It is Arizona’s first and only single-family new construction project to be awarded. This nationally approved rating system factors in areas such as lot and site development, origin of building materials, indoor environmental quality, building methods and homeowner education. The Villas at Sterling at Silverleaf are estimated to be 74 percent more efficient that most homes today which could save homeowners upwards of approximately $1,347 annually.
It looks like the focus on energy efficiency home building is here to stay which is great as it benefits everyone.