We all have a duty to be as ecologically-friendly as we can, wherever we can. Recycling, once looked upon as a chore and a fad, is now the norm, and caring for our environment is now part and parcel of daily life. In manufacturing, in commerce and in the construction industry, green practices are expected to be adhered to, and we should all welcome this. In home building, there are many things that have led to improvements in efficiency over the years.
Many of the best home builders are committed to operating by way of green building standards as this gives the buyer greater peace of mind that they are buying an energy-efficient home, so how is measured, and what should you know about it?
The Home Energy Rating System
An established industry standard, HERS – Home Energy Rating System – is applied to new-build homes as a way of determining how efficiently they are built. The rating covers a number of areas of the home, so let’s have a look at what it’s all about.
HERS is arrived at by looking at the materials and systems used in a new home – it can also be applied to older houses – and considers everything from insulation to heating systems, types of windows and other fittings. To be brief, the idea is to have the home use as little energy is possible; in fact, there are homes, although rare, that actually produce more energy than they use!
The starting point is 100, so if you are looking at a home with a rating of 60, it is 40% more efficient than a standard new build. There are other things that eco-conscious home builders can do to increase the efficiency of a building.
Within the home there are several areas where attention can be applied to details, the result is greater efficiency. For example, windows have come a long way since they were simply panes of glass! Quality windows now come with special devices coatings designed to regulate the way light passes through and keep heat in and are highly effective at doing so.
Likewise, modern appliances are used by home builders. A fridge, for example, that was made 15years ago will be nowhere near as energy efficient as one that is on sale now. This is down to research and development on the behalf of the makers, and more effective modern motors and compressors.
Lighting is another area where efficiency can be vastly improved, thanks to highly-efficient low-energy LED light fittings. This is the type that most modern homes will be fitted with, and they use far less energy – and waste practically none as heat – compared to regular bulbs.
We should be giving credit to the construction industry for actively working towards energy-efficient homes that are eco-friendly and that also save you money, so have a closer look at what you should be checking for in your new-build home, and choose a builder that offers you the best combination of energy-saving features.