eBuilt homes by Essex use 25-35% less energy than a typical new home. That’s a lot of energy savings which is good for everyone... even those who don’t live in eBuilt homes. Reducing energy consumption leaves more in reserve for the future. AND, you’ll save a nice chunk of money on your monthly utilities. Who doesn’t want that?
How do we do it? Lots of small changes yield BIG results.
Air Barriers & Sealing Methods
An air barrier is an air tight seal which eliminates connectivity between two spaces such as living space and the attic. When open cavities such as columns, arches, architectural details, etc. do not have a proper air barrier, air and heat can transfer from space to space.
- Essex Homes incorporates the EPA’s National Thermal Enclosure Checklist to improve effectiveness of insulation and reduce overall air leakage into home
- Every home is independently inspected and verified before drywall installation
Advanced Framing Techniques
Advanced house framing, sometimes called Optimum Value Engineering (OVE), refers to a variety of techniques designed to reduce the amount of lumber used and waste generated in the construction of a wood- framed house. These techniques also improve a home's energy efficiency.
Advanced framing techniques create a structurally sound home with lower material and labor costs than a conventionally framed house. Additional construction cost savings result from reduced waste disposal, which also helps the environment.
Advanced framing actually replaces lumber with insulation material and maximizes the wall that's insulated, which improves the whole-wall thermal resistance or R-value.
- Energy Corners
- Ladder T-wall intersects
- Engineered trusses are manufactured in a climate controlled environment protecting them from the elements and minimizing waste
High Performance Windows
Window technologies have advanced dramatically. Heat gain and loss through windows accounts for up to 50% of a home’s heating and cooling needs. Many technological improvements have been made in recent years that have advanced the insulating quality of windows.
- Vinyl windows reduce heat transmission
- Low-E coatings reduce solar gain while keeping visible light
- Block dangerous UV rays protecting people and furniture
CFL bulbs can replace incandescent bulbs that are roughly 3–4 times their wattage, saving up to 75% of the initial lighting energy. CFL bulbs also last about 10-times as long as traditional bulbs.
- Lighting accounts for 12-20% of a homes energy bill
- CFL bulbs are roughly 75% more efficient than incandescent bulbs
- eBuilt homes will come with approximately 50% CFL bulbs in globed fixtures
On-Demand Water Heaters
On-Demand (tankless) water heaters provide hot water only as it is needed. They don't produce the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters, which can save you money.
- 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters
- Only heats water when you need it
Optimized Heating & Cooling Systems
Many people think a larger heating & cooling sytem will provide increased efficiency. However, an oversized air conditioner is actually less effective, and wastes energy at the same time. Air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from the air. If the unit is too large, it will cool the room very quickly, but only remove some of the humidity. This leaves the room with a damp, clammy feeling. A properly sized unit will remove humidity effectively as it cools.
- Every eBuilt home's heating & cooling system is calculated using Manual J, D, and S
- Manual J - For determining how much heat the house loses in winter and gains in summer
- Manual D - For determining the best way to build the duct system to distribute air
- Manual S - For determining the best type of system to install for optimal efficiency
- Every eBuilt home tested using duct blaster method and required to achieve ≤ 4 cfm per 100 sq ft leakage to outside
Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing
Radiant barrier roof sheathing is installed in every eBuilt home to reduce summer heat gain, which helps lower cooling costs. The barrier is made of a highly reflective material that reflects (or more specifically, re-emits) radiant heat rather than absorbing it keeping your attic much cooler.
- Reduces heat transfer through roof by 97%
- Reduces attic temperatures up to 30°F
- Increases efficiency and prolongs life of heating and cooling equipment
A home that is not properly insulated is less energy efficient, more harmful to both the environment and the family living in it, and has higher energy costs.
- Building code requires R13-rated insulation in walls. eBuilt homes use R15 insulation in all exterior walls
- Building code requires R30-rated insulation in attics. Energy Star rated homes require R38 insulation, but eBuilt homes use R50 insulation in every attic to provide the greatest energy savings
- Insulation installed to RESNET Grade 1 standards
To ensure the best value for your money, and the best energy saving features available, every eBuilt home is independently tested by a third party...not by Essex Homes.
Here's the process we follow...
- Each house plan in modeled to determine projected HERS score
- Every home is inspected before drywall to comply with Energy Star’s Thermal By-Pass checklist
- Each home is tested upon completion to be sure it meets performance guidelines set forth in initial projection
- Every eBuilt home is assigned a HERS score that shows it's level of efficiency compared to a typical new home, and a typical older home.