Homebuilder brings Energy Star-rated homes to a broad market base (Photos)
High performance homes don't have to be out of the reach of the average buyer. One homebuilder is working to bring Energy Star-rated homes to the masses, with high performance homes built in affordable developments.
Grayhawk Homes builds more than 250 homes in Georgia, Alabama and Iowa, and since 2010 each of those homes has met Energy Star guidelines. That means the entire range of price points, from the company’s Cornerstone Collection, which starts in the high $110,000s, to the company’s Traditional Collection, where homes are valued at more than $350,000 offer energy efficiency for their owners.
|See photos of Grayhawk Energy Star rated homes|
“Generally, homebuilders focus ENERGY STAR® certification on their higher-end production or custom homes,” said Dave Erickson, found and president. “At Grayhawk, we feel that every home buyer should have the opportunity to benefit from a more energy efficient home for their family.”
To earn the Energy Star certification each home must be evaluated by a third-party inspector. It's a reflection of the expected performance of the home and the quality of the workmanship that wend into it.
"They check the house for proper air circulation, for proper tightness of the heating and air system and with the blower test they make sure the home is properly tight," Erickson said. "It's all directly related to how well you built the house in the first place."
Erickson said market research of data from actual homes has shown the real-world results of building to the Energy Star standards. The company sampled actual utility bills from Georgia Power and found a dramatic difference between new-construction Energy Star homes and existing homes. When normalized for an average two-story home of 2,532 square feet, Grayhawk Homes found home utility bills were cut in half, from an average of more than $406 to less than $199 each month.
The savings displayed in that data convinced Erickson and his employees that Energy Star- certification was the right thing to do for all of its home buyers. The company worked with several of its partners - Norboard, Dow Building Solutions, PlyGem windows, Georgia Power and others - to develop an energy efficiency program the builder could offer to all of its customers.
In recognition of its efforts, Grayhawk Homes was named a “2013 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Green building techniques and products in Grayhawk homes:
- Ply Gem windows
- Dow Structural Insulated Sheathing, WeatherTape and BlueBoard
- James Hardie Color Plus cement board siding
- Norboard radiant barrier for roof decking
- Monolithic slabs
- Computer-controlled, multi-zone HVAC thermostats
- Shaw vinyl plank flooring
- Pre-wiring all homes standard for security systems
- Whole-house ventilation via bathroom fans for better indoor air quality
- R-30 attic insulation
Read more about GREAT GREEN HOMES.