How to Go Green with New Home Construction in NH

Written By: Jen Chinburg

Going green in new home construction can save you money and help save the environment.

Today’s homeowners are much more environmentally conscious when it comes to new home construction. Whether it is the installation of water savings faucets and showers or the inclusion of high efficiency heating and cooling systems, homeowners are doing all they can to keep up with the green building code, as well as Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) criteria.

In New Hampshire, property owners are reaping the benefits of building green homes left and right – using various elements of energy efficiency to not only save the environment but also save some money in the process.

But building green homes is much more than just installing a few solar panels or a rain garden. It’s all about having a sustainable strategy that begins the minute a foundation is laid to the second a new homeowner opens the door to their new green home.

One of the biggest drivers of “going green” in new home construction is ENERGY STAR, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate through superior energy efficiency.

Established in 1992, the voluntary program was designed “to identify and promote energy-efficient products and buildings in order to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security, and reduce pollution through voluntary labeling of or other forms of communication about products and buildings that meet the highest energy efficiency standards.”

When it comes to new home construction, a third-party organization must verify whether a home’s energy efficiency is up to par of the ENERGY STAR criteria. In order to earn the ENERGY STAR, a builder must follow one of two paths.

  • The Prescriptive Path is a predefined package of improvements.
  • The Performance Path is based on a customized package of upgrades

Both paths require completion of four inspection checklists

  • Thermal Enclosure System Rater Checklist
  • HVAC System Quality Installation Rater Checklist
  • HVAC System Quality Installation Contractor Checklist
  • Water Management System Builder Checklist

These checklists include building science practices that promote improved comfort, improved indoor air quality, and durability in certified homes.

Chinburg Properties has been building ENERGY STAR homes since 2002 and is committed to innovative, sustainable and energy-efficient building practices. Over the years, our experienced staff of professionals has remained dedicated to creating a tighter building envelope that reduces energy consumption and costs. Our project managers are current on the latest technologies and can advise you on the costs and benefits of different green building options. Chinburg has a LEED Accredited Professional on our staff. LEED is the highest industry benchmark for certified green building.

Our latest example of green building can be found on Laurel Court in Portsmouth, where the homes we’ve recently built are considered “high-performance” per federal ENERGY STAR standards, thereby saving homeowners over $1,000 a year on energy bills, compared to conventionally-built homes in the area. Our $15 million project at 233 Vaughan Street was also recently dubbed a “sustainable masterpiece” in an article posted by the Green Alliance.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can achieve energy efficiency in your new home construction project.

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