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Beyond the Code: Increasing Energy Efficiency and Reducing Utility Cost

One of the primary goals of nearly every “green” home builder is to create homes that use as little energy as possible. To do this requires an in-depth understanding of building science, the knowledge to choose the right trade partners and materials, and a relentless attention to detail. Leading green homebuilders have adopted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR™ program for homes as basic guidelines for designing and constructing energy efficient homes. ENERGY STAR Certified New Homes are built to standards well above most other homes on the market today, delivering energy efficiency savings of up to 30 percent when compared to typical new homes.

A new home that earns the ENERGY STAR label
undergoes a series of inspections and tests to meet
strict requirements set by the EPA for delivering better
quality, better comfort, and better durability.
 Third-party home energy raters, like our partners at SmartHouse, perform an independent inspection of the home to verify that requirements have been met. The process usually includes a blower door test (to test the leakiness of the house), a duct blaster test (to test the leakiness of the duct system), and completion of a thermal bypass checklist (a visual inspection of common construction areas where air can flow through or around insulation).

R.E.A. Homes is currently the only custom luxury home builder in St. Louis committed to building 100 percent of its homes to the ENERGY STAR program’s rigorous standards. However, for us, those standards are just a starting point. Our signature High Performance Luxury Homes℠ go even further by including the quality and amenities that you would expect in a traditionally built luxury residence, while incorporating all the energy efficiency features of a high-performance “green” home.

Our High Performance Luxury Homes benefit our clients in the following ways:

  • Lower Utility Costs

High Performance Luxury Homes℠ use less energy for heating, cooling, and water heating, delivering significant savings on annual utility bills. Over the several years that a family typically lives in a home, this can add up to thousands of dollars.

  • Better Performance

In our High Performance Luxury Homes℠, improved comfort is ensured with more consistent temperatures between and across rooms; indoor air quality is enhanced by reducing dust, pollen, bugs and humidity; and durability is improved with comprehensive water protection, windows that block damaging sunlight, and better grade equipment.

  • Reduced Environmental Impact

The energy usage in our homes often emanates from the burning of fossil fuels at power plants. By using less energy to operate, High Performance Luxury Homes℠ actually contribute to helping lessen climate change—an added benefit for today’s environmentally-conscious consumer looking for greener choices.

  • Higher Resale Values

In studies across the country, High Performance Homes similar to the ones we build demonstrated the ability to sell for higher prices than equivalent traditionally built homes, and with less days on the market. As energy costs continue to rise, the gap in resale values between energy efficient homes seem likely to increase.

At R.E.A Homes, building High Performance Luxury Homes isn’t just about tangible benefits, or the ability to say we are a “green” builder, or being able to put the ENERGY STAR label on the front door. It is about improving the quality of life for our homeowners, their families, and the communities in which we live.

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