One of the things that sets Building Energy apart is our approach to home and building performance. We utilize a whole-home, whole-systems, or holistic approach that considers all the interconnected parts of a home or building at the same time. This approach has also been termed high-performance. Homes renovated or built using this approach are sometimes called high-performance homes.
So, what does high-performance mean?
The term high-performance has been defined differently over the years. This post focuses on what high-performance means to Building Energy and our customers. Our BPI-Certified Building Analyst Professional, Brent Mellen, says that high-performance is truly looking at the home or building as a system. We think about health and safety, weatherization, efficient electric heating, and renewable energy from the very start.
Many definitions of high-performance homes center on the same few concepts: comfort, efficiency, health, and durability. The thermal envelope of a high-performance home requires less energy for heating and cooling than that of a conventionally built home.
Indeed, the energy bills for these homes are reduced by maximizing efficiency and minimizing long-term costs. Additionally, these homes are more comfortable, more durable, and have better air quality. Efficiency Vermont notes that high-performance homes also have reduced humidity and temperature issues. Across the industry, these homes are commonly described as energy-efficient, eco-friendly, healthy, and sustainable.
According to Green Building Advisor, the keys to a high-performance home are:
- high levels of insulation
- a thick layer of continuous insulation uninterrupted by framing
- an airtight envelope
- great windows and doors
Through Efficiency Vermont, homes must meet certain requirements to be certified under their high-performance home program.
More specifically, Efficiency Vermont Certified homes “feature advanced insulation and ventilation, high-performance windows, efficient heating and cooling systems, low-flow bathroom fixtures, and ENERGY STAR® certified lighting and appliances.”
Why should you choose a company that specializes in high-performance homes?
Building Energy will go beyond code-level insulation requirements. We think into the future about what is practical and what matters. Materials and equipment are carefully selected, and best practices are always in place. With this approach, homes are unlikely to need upgrading or redoing in the near future.
An article in HGTV notes: “Homeowners, builders and remodelers who set their sights on a high-performance home aren’t just reducing greenhouse gases, promoting energy independence and creating jobs—they’re creating more comfortable, durable and healthy homes.”
With reduced energy bills and maintenance, these homes can also yield a higher resale value, according to Efficiency Vermont.
How does Building Energy approach high-performance homes?
Even if a customer contacts us only about one service, we think about the whole home as a system. If we change one thing here, what happens over there? For example, if a house is weatherized to make it more comfortable and less drafty, what happens to the old boiler or furnace that relies on a leaky house? Our BPI training really helps with the “house as a system” approach and is a fundamental part of high-performance.
Whether you want to cut your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint, increase your home’s comfort and indoor air quality, or invest in long-lasting upgrades, reach out to Building Energy to get started.