Energy-Efficient Homes in Easton, PA
For more than 50 years, Segal & Morel has created exceptional homes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey built on a foundation of craftsmanship and quality materials. Over the decades, many things have changed, and we’re dedicated to staying on the cutting edge of home building trends. One element that’s here to stay is the construction of energy-efficient, green homes. So, what does it mean for a home to be certified green? There are an array of factors that must be taken into consideration throughout the process.
Key Components of a Green Home
Green home builders incorporate environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the building and development process to minimize a home’s overall environmental impact. The design, construction, and operation of a home must focus on energy and water efficiency, resource-efficient building design and materials, and indoor environmental quality.
Since 2001, all Riverview Estates West homes have been Energy Star® certified. Since 2010, all single-family homes at Riverview Estates West have been Green Certified by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center.
Segal & Morel Energy Star® homes are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be 20-30% more energy-efficient than a standard home. When designing and building an energy-efficient home, there are specific construction techniques, materials, and appliances that are used to ensure it meets Energy Star® guidelines, including:
- High-efficiency heating 95% A.F.U.E. furnace
- High-efficiency air conditioning 14.5 S.E.E.R.
- Heat recovery ventilator
- Tight construction
- Insulated and sealed supply and return ductwork
- High R-Value insulation, caulking, and sealing
- Enhanced foundation waterproofing (Tuff-N-Dri)
- Thermally-efficient Low-E windows
- Energy Star® certified appliances and lighting
To ensure that a green home meets Energy Star® guidelines, third-party verification by a certified Home Energy Rater (or equivalent) is required. This rater works closely with the home builders throughout the construction process. They help determine which energy-saving equipment and construction techniques are needed, conduct required on-site diagnostic testing, and perform inspections to ensure the home is worthy of the Energy Star® label. These homes are not only better for the environment, but they can also provide significant savings on energy costs while keeping your family comfortable throughout the year.
Fixtures and appliances such as EPA WaterSense® certified Kohler low flush toilets, faucets, and showerheads and Energy Star® dishwashers and washing machines all help conserve water. Rainwater collection systems, , and tankless water heaters also are valuable tools when it comes to water conservation.
A green home should contain renewable materials, including rapidly renewable wood species found in engineered wood products such as flooring, sub-flooring, roof trusses, and wall and roof sheathing. Recycled materials can also sometimes be found in materials such as tiles, carpeting, concrete formulations, and other items.
Indoor Air Quality Features
Appropriately sized, energy-efficient HVAC systems also provide superior air quality, which is crucial to your family’s health and comfort. Fans in the kitchen and bathrooms release stale air to the outside. Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) exchange indoor air for fresh outside air while retaining the energy in the exhausted air and transferring it to the incoming unconditioned air. An HRV not only improves air quality but also saves energy as well.
Radon-resistant construction techniques and passive radon ventilation systems help maintain safe indoor air quality. Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints, finishes, and wallpapers also enhance the air quality in a green luxury home.
Outside the Home
Outside, care should be taken to preserve native trees and vegetation. Landscaping should include plants that are climate-appropriate and grouped according to similar water needs. Driveways and other impervious surfaces are minimized as much as possible and may be composed of porous block pavers, to minimize excess runoff.
Look for the Green Certified Mark
If you’re in the market for a green home, it’s important to look for the Green Certified mark issued by the NAHB Research Center. This guarantees that it was built according to one of the levels of green certification outlined in either the ICC 700-2020 National Green Building Standard or the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines. The NAHB Home Innovation Research Labs is the sole certifier recognized by NAHB’s National Green Building Program.
Benefits of Owning a Green Home
- Comfort and indoor air quality.Tight construction, better insulation, and energy-efficient windows add up to a home that feels warmer in winter and cooler in summer. These features also block out noise and drafts. You’ll enjoy less airborne dust and reduced exposure to pollutants as well. Improved duct systems provide balanced airflow to all rooms for superior comfort..
- Special mortgages. Buying a Segal & Morel home gives you access to national Energy Star® Mortgage Programs that reward energy efficiency. You can take advantage of lower interest rates, extra cash-back after closing, the ability to qualify for a larger mortgage, discounts on closing costs, and reduced loan origination fees.
- Higher resale value. The features found in a green home made with quality materials not only result in years of cost savings on utility bills, but also boost the resale value of your home when it comes time to sell.
- Reducing your carbon footprint. Segal & Morel The Energy Star® and green-certified homes help reduce the amount of air pollution created by a household’s energy consumption. Building a home with these considerations in mind is a simple way to do your part to help care for the environment.
Contact Us to Learn More About Segal & Morel Green Homes
The team at Segal & Morel understands that building a house involves much more than using the right techniques and materials – it’s about making your house a home. Our green, Energy Star® certified homes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey provide comfort and cost savings, lessen your impact on the environment, and enable you to create a beautiful place to call home. Contact us online or call our office in Easton, PA, at 610-923-8422 to learn more.
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Visit the Energy Star website.