Our Commitment to Energy Efficiency and Green Building

Jeff is in the process of developing the market in the Fredericksburg Area for environmentally and socially responsible building.  He is the first builder in the area to become an ENERGY STAR partner, the first to complete an ENERGY STAR home, and has committed to building 100% ENERGY STAR.  Learn more at www.energystar.gov.  ENERGY STAR is the core competency for all of our Energy Efficiency and Green Building Programs, and thus it is important that our homeowners understand what this means.

Why would you want to build an ENERGY STAR home?

An ENERGY STAR home does cost slightly more to build, so every homebuyer musk ask themselves "Does this make sense for us?"  The proverbial "It is the right thing to do for the environment" is enough for many of us, but here are some other reasons that you may not have considered:

Reason #1 - Comfort

When most homeowners think of temperature control, they think of their thermostats.  What they don't think about is SURFACE TEMPERATURES.  What does this mean?  Even if the air inside your home is warm, for example, you can still feel cold because your body contacts parts of your home that are colder than the air.  The floor may be cold under your feet, there may be drafts near your windows or fireplace, or your walls may be cold to the touch.  The room over your garage may never quite feel the right temperature - too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.  J. Hall Homes ENERGY STAR homes moderate surface temperatures using modern building techniques that address the building envelope (creating a more AIR TIGHT home) and improve insulation of the home (that more effectively traps and holds heat).

Reason #2 - Improved Air Quality

Once you have a home that has become more air tight (that is, reduced air exchange through the building envelope), you now have improved control of indoor air quality.  The quality of the air in your home is an important "quality of life" consideration, especially if you have family members that suffer with respiratory ailments, such as asthma or allergies.  Now, air is only entering your home through the intended air exchange system in which the air is properly filtered.  You also have improved control of humidity (as well as added energy savings) by additionally installing an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV).

Reason #3 - Savings

ENERGY STAR homes require an initial up front investment, generally several thousand dollars depending on the size of the home.  The homeowner can expect a monthly utility savings up to $100 on average.  When you look at these costs and resultant incorporation into a mortgage (see table below), there is an net savings that will add up with each month you live in your home.

  Standard Home Energy Efficient Home
Purchase Price   $250,000  $253,000
Down Payment $50,000   $50,600
Loan Amount   $200,000  $202,400
Interest      7% 7%
Monthy PITI $1,331   $1,346 (-$16)
Energy Cost $220    $160  (+$60)
Total Expenses   $1,551 $1,507 (+$44)

 *Table Courtesy of 2008 Virginia EarthCraft House™   

ENERGY STAR and Beyond

ENERGY STAR® Homes represent homes that are 15% more energy efficient than the 2004 IECC Code, which is 30% more efficient than current Virginia Code.  All homes go through a rigorous third-party certification process, which includes modeling to develop an acceptable HERS Rating, materials/insulation inspection, a thermal bypass check, a duct pressure test, and a blower door test.  This guarantees that your home is built to ENERGY STAR standards. 

Many of our customers see the value of ENERGY STAR and want to go further.  For those customers interested in building beyond energy efficiency, J. Hall Homes, Inc. builds homes certified under the EarthCraft House™ Program.  EarthCraft House is a green building program that originated in Atlanta, GA and has now grown into Virginia.  This program incorporates the requirements of the ENERGY STAR home as well as other sustainable building practices in areas such as site planning, resource efficient design, use of resource efficient building materials, waste management, indoor air quality, and water conservation.  J. Hall Homes, Inc. highly recommends this program to our customers.  It is comprehensive and yet does not require a significant investment (compared to other Green Building Programs). 

For our most discerning customers, J. Hall Homes also offers homes that are 50% more energy efficient than the 2004 IECC Code.  The Federal Government is currently offering Builders a $2,000 tax credit for each home that meets this standard through December 31, 2009.  J. Hall Homes is pleased to offer this $2,000 to our customers towards upgrades necessary to achieve this standard.  This is a great opportunity to own a top performance home!!!   We are encouraging our customers to take advantage of this tax credit while it is available.  You may also couple the 50% energy efficiency standard with the EarthCraft House™ Program.

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