At Hutchinson Home Builders, we strive to build homes that will not only save energy but also save you money!
All of our homes are Energy Star® Certified and have their own individualized Energy Performance Scores (EPS).
The Energy Performance Score (EPS) is a home energy rating system similar to the miles-per-gallon (MPG) rating for automobiles. Co-developed by Earth Advantage Institute and Energy Trust of Oregon, the EPS provides an easy way to estimate actual home energy consumption, related carbon emissions, and utility costs. It also shows homeowners where they rank in energy use on a regional and national scale.
The EPS scorecard graphically illustrates a home’s energy score (based on total energy use) as well as its carbon footprint, and shows homeowners how their home compares to state averages and targets for homes. The EPS scorecard is paired with an EPS energy analysis report, which provides in-depth information on a home’s performance and provides upgrade recommendations, along with estimated costs and energy savings. The EPS can also be incorporated into real estate listings so prospective home buyers and the real estate financial community can use it to evaluate a home's operating costs.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Green certified buildings use fewer resources and are built to minimize their footprint on the land. Sustainable building practices, techniques and technologies enable the builder to conserve vegetation, materials and energy, while the home or building itself allows occupants to conserve and use resources wisely.
New construction and building upkeep rely heavily on natural resources. Sustainable construction practices and the use of environmentally responsible and durable products helps reduce the amount of materials needed to maintain a certified structure over its lifetime, which will typically be longer than that of a conventional structure.
Water shortages are and will increasingly be a concern during this century. A certified structure uses water-wise technologies that both lower utility bills and reduce the total amount of water needed to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
Development practices used during the construction of a sustainably built home or building decrease land degradation and deforestation, promote healthy landscapes, reduce waste, and prevent potential erosion associated with lot development.
Using low-impact construction practices and more exact calcuations, builders reduce the amount of natural and man-made materials purchased, helping to eliminate landfill waste and materials disposal issues. They also recycle construction debris. When you factor in the completed building's resource efficiency, this translates to an earth-friendly structure that you can be proud of.
A certified home or building’s reduced energy needs will result in fewer carbon emissions and require less fossil fuel.
Sustainable Finance Offerings
Earth Advantage Institute is committed to developing programs that help accelerate the uptake of green building. One means of doing this is by creating an “ecosystem” of preferential financial services around the green homeowner.
EAI’s sustainable finance program, part of its residential certification department, works with private sector financial partners in mortgage lending and insurance to create products that favor the green home buyer or homeowner.
For industry partners, the benefits are clear. Working with green homeowners offers them access to a new group of reliable borrowers and clients. They are less likely to default because they own energy- and resource-efficient homes with lower utility payments. These healthier homes can drastically reduce allergen and air quality issues through better sealing, ventilation and air filtering. Incorporating building science principles, better built homes can be less susceptible to moisture, rot, pests and fire. Such attributes result in homes with less exposure to risk for both insurers and lenders.
Products include innovative bank loans offering reduced closing costs, home insurance plans that offer reduced premiums, and builder-supplied forms for appraisers that can prove instrumental in helping homeowners secure a loan for the full value of the home. Examples of green financial products include:
Creating a Healthier Home
Earth Advantage certified homes offer a healthier living environment. To promote health, builders use more sustainable materials and finishes that do not off-gas harmful fumes. They ensure that air is filtered before entering the home, that all gas combustion systems are sealed, and that the home is properly ventilated to expel any remaining harmful pollutants. Earth Advantage homes also protect the home against the health risks associated with excessive moisture. Techniques as moisture barriers combined with rainscreens reduce the risk of organisms supported by moisture and rot, including molds, fungi and pests. Air sealing the house promotes health by helping to prevent airborne allergens and industrial particles from coming in. Ventilation also improves the quality of air in the home and helps reduce spot moisture problems.
Energy Efficiency Means Lower Utility Bills
Earth Advantage Certified Homes uses the Northwest ENERGY STAR® program as its energy saving path, using a variety of features and techniques to save at least 15% more energy compared to a home built to code. This means that Earth Advantage certified homes are also ENERGY STAR certified. The ENERGY STAR measures typically include effective insulation systems, high–performance windows, tight construction and sealed ducts, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and ENERGY STAR qualified lighting and appliances.
Limited Impact on Land
The Earth Advantage Certified Home reduces the negative impacts that construction can have on the land and natural systems. Care is taken to preserve natural habitat and features, vegetation and open space. Construction processes are managed to preserve soil from damage, contamination and erosion. Waste is reduced through recycling and accurate calculation of materials needs. Landscaping with native low water vegetation is encouraged.
Safe and Durable Materials
Earth Advantage Certified Homes use materials wisely. The builders choose materials and products for durability in order to decrease maintenance and replacement costs. They typically order local materials where available and choose products containing a high percentage of recycled content. Such materials may include roofing, decking, formaldehyde-free cabinetry, and sheetrock using recycled gypsum.
Reduced Water Consumption
Earth Advantage Certified Homes protect water quality and preserve this precious resource. Builders install low flow fixtures and toilets and may recommend tankless water heaters that save water through instant heating. They may recommend water saving irrigation systems for yards. During construction, builders take measures to prevent erosion, protect nearby bodies of water, and manage stormwater.
The EPS is a tool designed to rate each home on its energy use and energy savings. It established after the home is tested and inspected to meet the following requirements:
Heated/cooled air stays in the home with Mastic Sealed Air Ducts.
Duct Tightness Testing – Standard ducts lose up to 30% heated/cooled air; ours reduce it to less than 6%.
Complete System Analysis – Proves your home is more efficient and comfortable.
Moisture Testing Before Drywall is Hung – Ensures no excess moisture is in your walls.
Other features in our homes that add comfort and save money include:
Ultra High Efficiency Natural Gas Water Heater
95% Ultra High Efficiency Ruud Gas Furnace – Exceptional comfort for less money.
Energy Star® Windows with Low-E Glass Heat stays in during winter, out during the summer.
Energy Star® Fluorescent Lighting Package – Consumes significantly less energy; light bulbs last longer.
Energy Star® Rated Dishwasher – Clean dishes using less energy and water.
Gas Fireplace with Electronic Ignition – Gas is not wasted by a burning pilot light.
Mastic Sealed Air Ducts – Lowers utility costs by not heating and cooling the attic and crawlspace.
Here is a great link that goes to a PDF with the above info. http://www.earthadvantage.org/assets/uploads/About_EA_New_Homes_Small.pdf
Link to Energy Trust Website: http://energytrust.org/residential/
Link to Earth Advantage Website: http://www.earthadvantage.org/