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When an architect, designer, and builder set out with the intention of building a high-performance home, they often determine a sustainability goal based on an established certification program. These third-party certification programs define the parameters and expectations of the custom home’s ongoing energy savings. They include suggested materials, recommend efficiency engineering practices and can demand applied environmental quality controls.
There are some popular and emerging high-performance home certification programs on the market today. Homeowners are increasingly familiar with the terms like “home energy score,” and “LEED certification.” We talk pretty regularly about “passive homes” and “passive-inspired” homes on this blog. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification and passive home certification (Clarum uses the Passive House Institute US or PHIUS+2015 certification program) have some similarities. Both share the common objective to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human and environmental health. However, you could say a PHIUS+2015 is like a turbo-charged LEED certification.
Both LEED Certification and PHIUS+2015 require accommodations in the following areas, just at differing degrees:
Most states and many major cities have incorporated green building codes into their requirements for new construction. California has often led the country in environmental sustainability requirements and standards.
Certification rating systems clearly outline what green standards need to be followed and what types of green products should be included in construction specifications. Because PHIUS+2015 is one of the strictest standards of sustainable home building and explicitly geared to the locality of the building, it will meet and exceed local, state and federal qualification for all potential energy efficiency and green tax incentives, credits and product rebates. Your Clarum project manager will work closely with you to identify these savings opportunities to help you offset overall project costs.
While the average household spends around $2,150 every year on energy bills, LEED Certified homes use around 30-60% less energy. Homes built to passive standards use a whopping 90% less energy than average. Those are savings that can really add up over time. As building technologies advance and energy resources become even more scarce, many believe the passive home building will emerge as the more economical way to build.
California has a strategic goal to make all new homes net-zero energy by 2020. That’s just around the corner. We hope that any custom home we build for you is your forever home, but if you do intend to sell, your passive home certification is going to work in your favor. A recent study showed homes with the more common LEED certification to have an average resale of over $25,000 or an 8 percent increase in value over conventional homes. A house doesn’t have to be certified to be sustainable and well-built. However, certification provides the verification of the green nature of the project and can be a valuable educational and marketing tool for owners who would eventually like to resell the property.
There is no doubt passive homes retain their value and continue to perform with superior energy efficiency and durability when compared to homes built with traditional constructional methods. They are also the best investment you can make in the health of your family regarding indoor air quality, reduction of exposure to unnecessary toxins and overall wellbeing through thoughtful practices like daylighting. They honor the surrounding environment by working in harmony with the landscaping rather than disrupting it, through low and no-impact landscapes, rainwater and solar harvesting – an investment in our planet’s future that is becoming more urgent every year.
PHIUS+ 2015 is the only passive building standard based upon climate-specific comfort and performance criteria aimed at presenting a cost-optimized solution to achieving the most durable, resilient, and energy-efficient building possible for a specific location. That is why Clarum believes this process produces the most high-performance, healthy home for the California marketplace.
If you would like to explore building your custom dream home to the highest level of environmental sustainability and personal health and wellness standards, give us a call at 650.322.7069