What is an Energy Star Certification?
Most people are familiar with Energy Star appliances, but fewer know that the EPA Energy Star program also certifies homes and buildings that meet strict energy performance standards. By implementing energy-efficient systems and construction methods, Energy Star certified homes use less energy, save money, and protect the environment by emitting fewer greenhouse emissions than non-certified buildings.
To be eligible for Energy Star certification, a home must meet strict standards in building systems, energy use, and construction. Among the required features are a complete thermal enclosure system to ensure minimal leaking; a robust water management system to prevent moisture damage; a high-efficiency heating cooling and ventilation system; and energy efficient lighting and appliances. When combined, these standards create better buildings that offer occupants enduring quality, peace of mind, wall-to-wall comfort, and proven home value.
As a ground-up program, the Energy Star program offers guidelines for both the design and build of energy-efficient homes. As an architect, WATERSHED begins predicting and improving a home’s energy performance during the first stages of design. This involves partnering with a rater for the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, a nationally-recognized system for inspecting and measuring a home’s energy performance, to create energy models and calculate equipment size. Once construction begins, regular testing is conducted to ensure building systems and specifications are working as planned. For example, we use blower door tests and duct blasters to measure the amount of air leakage through and outside of a home’s envelope at various stages of the build. These tests are instrumental in creating energy-efficient homes and catching mistakes before large construction ramifications can occur.
WATERSHED uses Energy Star to help ensure the quality and performance of our homes, both large and small, luxury, and affordable.
Check out some of our completed Energy Star projects: