Builders Work Towards Energy-Efficient Houses
As house prices continue to remain low, home builders and remodelers are seeing rising demand for new energy-efficient homes and retrofitting older homes to improve energy efficiency.
“In the past, given a choice, frankly, many customers would have rather paid for upgraded amenities than energy efficiency,” says Steve Nardella, senior vice president of operations at Maryland-based builder Winchester Homes. But that’s all changing now, with frequent energy-price spikes and increased awareness about the environmental impacts of energy use.
As a result, 9 out of 10 builders are expecting to build smaller, energy-efficient designs in the coming years, going beyond including Energy Star-rated appliances and using better sealing technologies, smarter floor plans, and small but important structural modifications.
While these houses may be smaller in size, this has allowed builders to be more creative in how designing living spaces that don’t feel small, such as making larger open rooms with better air flow instead of separate ones.
Many of the energy-efficient model homes are being constructed with built-in sensors for monitoring temperature, humidity, water and electricity usage, and other data which is necessary towards making even more efficient homes in the future.
Thanks to rising demand, higher energy prices and incentives from the federal government and others, the incentives are there for homeowners to improve the energy efficiency in their homes.