Green Building- a Reality Check

May 2, 2011
The Autumn model by Capstone Homes in Holland Mills has a HERS score of 54.

"Green" is a word that is so completely overused in our marketing today, and homebuilders are as guilty as anyone else.  Every builder talks about "Green" building techniques, energy saving features, materials, etc...

How do you sort the truth from the hype?

Capstone Homes would like to try to sort some of the reality from some of the marketing....

Energy Star:

Here's what you need to know about Energy Star.  First, Energy Star is a government program that rates the energy efficiency of homes.  There are a number of different criteria that a home needs to meet in order for a new home to be called an Energy Star homes.

Energy Star comes up with a HERS score for a home- a Home Energy Rating System.  Energy Star says that a typical new home would have a HERS score of 100.  An Energy Star home needs to score an 85 on the HERS scale.

Here's the reality on Energy Star:  The State of Delaware changed the energy code to which all builders needed to build in July of 2010.  Delaware now requires all new homes to be built to the International Residential Building Code of 2009 Energy Requirements.  (Keep in mind that Sussex County uses the 2003 building code for everything NOT energy).  The 2009 basically requires an Energy Star standards in all new homes.  So, if your builder says that they are Energy Star- so is everyone else, basically.  To get an actual Energy Star Home, it has to be tested and verified, so some builders will say that they build to "Energy Star Standards" or Energy Star Qualified without actually getting the house Energy Star verified.

If you are looking at a Delaware beach home from a new home builder, then it makes sense to ask about their Energy Star homes.  It also makes sense to talk about HERS scores as well.  If your builder can't talk about these things, then they aren't that serious about "Green" building.

Green building is (in Capstone's opinion) all about saving energy in the new home.  Capstone Homes' model in Holland Mills is an energy star rated home with a HERS score of 54, which makes it a very efficient home.

When you are thinking about building a new "Green" home- it's a great idea to separate the truth from the hype.