Living iQ™: Our Take on Energy-Efficient Home Building

Living IQ

April 9, 2024

The benefits of owning a newly built home are endless. But day in and day out, one of the top benefits is definitely energy efficiency. From better materials to superior insulation to cutting-edge technology, Cothran Homes builds energy-efficient homes that are truly extraordinary. You save more money and energy because we put more time and energy into our homes from the beginning.  

The Features & Highlights of Our Energy-Efficient Home Design

Living iQ™ from Cothran Homes is the next generation of home building. Our intelligently designed homes reflect what matters most to you—convenience, comfort, efficiency, and peace of mind. With an unprecedented level of smarts, including advanced framing techniques, cutting-edge technology, and eco-friendly, healthier products and materials, our homes are the smartest choice for your family.

Our energy-efficient home design is the result of collaboration and commitment to finding sustainable solutions. High-quality construction and superior finished details go into every home we build. Here are some of the features and highlights of our simply smarter homes: 

Energy efficient home design

  • Intelligent Design
    • Advanced structural & framing techniques
    • Protective and efficient plumbing systems
    • Weather-tough PEX water lines | PEX is a flexible plastic that is more resistant to cracking due to freezing thanks to its ability to expand.
    • Advanced home insulation
    • Heat-reflective roof sheathing | Radiant barrier sheathing blocks heat from emitting into a home’s attic, keeping temperatures down.
    • 10-year insured structural warranty
    • Independent inspections and performance testing
    • Energy saving HERS score
  • Cutting Edge Technology
    • Remote-operated Wi-Fi thermostats | You program the heating/cooling system. Save energy by turning it on before you get home, or setting it to cool/heat the house overnight. 
    • Multi-zoned heating & cooling system
    • Advanced stain and soil-resistant carpets
    • Smart media panel
    • USB charging outlets
    • High-performance windows | The special glass in these windows is designed to reduce heat transfer, reducing energy usage while keeping a home more comfortable. 
    • Live video doorbell
    • LED and CFL lighting
  • Enhanced Health
    • Low VOC paints and carpets | Low-VOC paints have a reduced amount of volatile organic compounds. They give off fewer harmful gasses than traditional paint. Low-VOC carpets are designed to reduce the emission of toxic gasses, too.
    • Moisture control whole house wrap
    • UV blocking windows
    • Sealed combustion appliances
    • MERV 8 air filters | A MERV 8 filter captures particles like pollen, dust mites, and mold spores. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value. Values range from 1 (the lowest efficiency) to 20 (the highest efficiency).
    • Environmentally-friendly finish materials
    • Security lighting
    • Stormwater pollution prevention plan

What is a HERS index-rated home? 

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. It’s also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance. A certified Home Energy Rater assesses the energy efficiency of a home, assigning it a relative performance score. The lower the number, the more energy-efficient the home. To calculate the HERS® Index Score, the RESNET HERS® Rater does an energy rating on your home and compares the data against a ‘reference home’– a model home of the same size and shape as the actual home, so the score is relative to the size, shape, and type of your house. 

What is HERS Index rated home

Do Green Homes Have A Higher Resale Value?

When you’re purchasing a new home, energy efficiency is one of the biggest features to consider. While energy-efficient features can help you save on utilities and save the planet, they can also raise the value of your home. Studies have shown that green homes sell faster and for more money than homes without energy-efficient features. Freddie Mac research found that homes with energy-efficiency ratings (e.g. HERS, ENERGY STAR, LEED) sold for 2.7% more on average compared to homes that did not.

Why are green homes more valuable than traditional homes? Green home building features construction techniques and practices that benefit the environment, allowing energy-efficient home builders such as Cothran Homes to craft homes that are measurably more energy-efficient, require less maintenance, and are healthier to live in than conventionally built houses.

Green homes, aka high-performance homes, are built using sustainable materials that are more durable than conventional materials. They are also built using tighter construction methods, which result in cleaner, healthier indoor air. They include innovative HVAC and air handling systems to maximize the comfort of the home while minimizing the amount of energy used. 

Until recently, “green” homes were considered to be cutting-edge, but building codes are starting to catch up with the standards recommended by authorities like ENERGY STAR and LEED. Many municipalities now require blower door tests and other energy-efficient inspections as part of their standard building requirements. This means that more new construction homes are better built and more efficient. 

Do energy efficiency and sustainability features increase the resale value of a home? In addition to the real-world energy savings, the “perceived” value of green homes is increasing, too. A 2022 white paper on energy efficiency reported that homes rated for energy efficiency sold for around $35,000 more than comparable unrated homes; and homes that were better rated sold for 3-5% more than homes that received a lower rating. 

Across the country, agents estimate that the value that energy efficiency adds to a home has increased. In 2022, nearly half (48 percent) of the real estate agents surveyed by HomeLight said that homebuyers are starting to prioritize energy efficiency in their home searches. In the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2022 REALTORS and Sustainability Report, 63 percent of those surveyed said mentioning energy efficiency in home listings was valuable. A recent analysis from Zillow concluded that homes with descriptions mentioning green features could sell up to about a week faster and for up to 1.4 percent more than comparable homes without.

Energy efficient home resale value

Contact Cothran Homes Today!

Energy-efficient homes are getting hotter (or cooler!) by the minute! If you’ve been thinking about “going green”, make the smart move by considering a Cothran home. By purchasing one of our green homes for sale, you’re making a conscious effort to protect the environment, save energy, and keep your home safe and comfortable. Enjoy everything you love about South Carolina living… made even better! Contact us about our homes for sale in Greenville, SC today! 

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