How do Savings by Design builders make a home more energy efficient?
It’s not just one thing that makes a home truly energy efficient, it’s a combination of things all working together to achieve the most energy savings. During the Integrated Design Process, there are 3 key areas that the team will look at when planning a Savings by Design (SBD) home:
1. Air Tightness
You may have heard the term “building envelope” before. Your home’s walls, insulation, roofing, windows and doors together make up your building envelope. The tighter your building envelope, the better, because it prevents warmed or cooled air from leaking out – saving you energy and money. A tighter envelope also prevents drafts, moisture, dust and pollen from leaking in, and helps to prevent mold growth. Modifications to your SBD home’s framing (the “skeleton” of your home), air sealing, high performance windows and properly fitted doors all help to achieve the tightest building envelope possible.
An important part of energy efficiency is the “3 Cs” of insulation: cost, comfort and condensation. Properly installed insulation helps to keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer, to reduce your energy costs and keep you comfortable year-round. Insulation also prevents mold-causing condensation, which is especially important as mold can cause health problems such as aggravated asthma. SBD built homes use increased R-value insulation – which is insulation with higher thermal resistance – throughout the home.
3. Mechanical System
Installing the newest, most energy efficient mechanical systems can make a big difference in a home’s energy consumption, and even more importantly, indoor air quality, home comfort and energy costs. Innovations such as energy efficient heating and cooling systems, condensing hot water heaters, advanced ventilation and DWHR (Drain Water Heat Recovery) units are all standard in a Savings by Design home.
4. Electrical Savings
On average, appliances and lighting can account for up to 25% of a home’s energy consumption. ENERGY STAR® appliances – such as your fridge, stove, laundry washer and dryer, plus energy efficient lighting such as CFLs and LEDs can help you save both energy and money.
Remember, even in the most energy efficient home like an SBD home, how you use energy can still affect your energy costs. Check out our Energy Saving Tips to see how to reduce your energy use and lower your energy bills.
> See Energy Efficiency Explained