Pre-qualified home plans are blueprints designed to earn the ENERGY STAR® name, and incorporate energy-efficient practices and specifications to meet the rigorous ENERGY STAR guidelines set by the EPA.
To qualify, a plan is independently reviewed and verified by a team of professionals, an architect or engineer and a HERS rater, to include energy-saving features and construction practices that will result in a home that is at least 20–30 percent more energy efficient than a standard home. (more…)
Most of us spend much of our time indoors. The air that we breathe in our homes, in schools, and in offices and other buildings can put us at risk for health problems. Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality (IAQ) problems in buildings. Air pollutants can be emitted from office equipment, furniture, carpeting, common chemicals like cleaning supplies and pesticides, and gases from fireplaces, stoves, and furnaces. Other indoor air problems can come from living organisms like mold, pet dander, and dust mites. High temperature and humidity levels can increase concentrations of some pollutants. (more…)
Staying Current with New Standards
IECC 2009: Did you know that the new International Energy Conservation Code® (IECC 2009) requires increased inspections and testing for energy efficiency for all new construction?
The Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to moving to net zero energy homes by 2020. The first major step toward those goals is embodied in the 2009 IECC, which by various estimates is 12% to 15% more energy efficient than its 2006 predecessor. (more…)
What Contaminants are in your home?
Part of the reason we head indoors is to shelter us from nature. Unfortunately, nature sometimes finds its way inside our homes in the form of contaminants – negatively affecting our air quality and posing a danger to our health in the form of these common contaminants.
In many areas of the country this question wouldn’t even be asked because there is a shortage of water and strict controls in place for water usage.
Some cities even have water police that will ticket people for washing their cars or watering their lawns because the problem is that serious. In the East Tennessee area, we are fortunate that water is abundant—most of the time. But our area has suffered severe droughts within recent years, causing a significant loss of trees. Also, not far from us in the Atlanta area, the drinking water supply became critically low during these droughts. Therefore we should not take a plentiful water supply for granted.