Q: Can a new home be obsolete?

A: When it comes to energy efficiency, comfort and indoor air quality a newly built home without these is ABSOLUTELY OBSOLETE!!!

The Federal Government has a target of the year 2030 where all newly constructed homes need to have a HERS rating of zero. Commonly called NET ZERO.

The State of California has put a target of NET ZERO by the year of 2020.

What this means that the annual energy consumption averages to be balanced by energy generated to have a net of zero used {in some cases you could generate a surplus of power}.

To make this happen a home’s building envelope needs to be constructed in a way that is different than the typical new or existing home. Techniques to minimize air leakage, improved framing techniques to allow for proper insulation, software modeling to right size your high performance heating and cooling equipment are just a few areas of focus.

We are currently working with a client that bought a LEEDS silver townhome in Portland about 4 years ago. They purchased the home when they had no children. Now they do. They are searching for a home that will meet the new family needs. What is interesting is that they are searching for a home with similar/improved construction techniques than in the home they live now. This client happens to be in the energy business and understands these net zero targets. You can imagine in their search what they are doing. They are eliminating all homes that are built in what I call the old way. Kinda of like day old bread.

It is extremely important when buying a home to think forward. I would hope that this gives you a new perspective to consider when you go shopping for that home of your dreams.

If buying new ask for a HERS rating. If buying an existing home ask for an ENERGY AUDIT.

Build well and enjoy life.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!