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.
The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that a typical resale home scores 130 on the HERS Index while a standard new home is awarded a rating of 100.
A home with a HERS Index Score of 70 is 30% more energy efficient than a standard new home
A home with a HERS Index Score of 130 is 30% less energy efficient than a standard new home
However, in many municipalities a HERS Index Score of less than 50 is now required to meet 2017 regulations.
What does this mean to the homeowner? Foam insulation is the key. Have more questions, ask a builder...
The market attraction of builders using the RESNET HERS Index to easily explain to homebuyers the energy performance is growing dramatically. Yet the cost to meet these specifications is often greatly underestimated and hard to recoup.
Many town’s in New York have to meet the new energy code which requires that any new single-family dwelling, multiple-family dwelling, Planned Retirement Community (PRC) or Planned Retirement Congregate Housing Community (PRCHC) in buildings containing four units or less, not more than three stories in height must be built to achieve a HERS Index of 70 or less as verified by the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) promulgated by the Residential Energy Service Network (RESNET).
This value fluctuates depending on how strict the code enforcement is in the municipality. In reality, many districts require a HERS Index of less than 50. This means that traditional fiberglass insulation methods are out. In are new, spray foam methods, which can cost up to 4x more and are extremely hazardous to install, requiring special masks, clothing and a vacated property.
The benefits of pre-fab walls over concrete block and poured cement are numerous. Besides being a faster and more precise foundation construction method, the formed panels are delivered to the job site intact and set crews unload and position in perfect placement.
The walls are also pre-insulated and prepared with aluminum nailers with ports for wiring and plumbing. This makes finishing and insulating a basement to new HERS specifications easier, which can save thousands.
Deep footings are also not necessary, a costly excavation task, with the panel walls being set on just 12″ of peat gravel.
Once the slab is poured everything locks together and is water tight. When considering the type of foundation for your new home, it’s hard to stand against the benefits of US factory made foundation panels.
In the high-tech approach known as panelized construction, pre-engineered wall sections are produced for a new home in factory-controlled conditions, then shipped complete to the building site for final construction.
Unlike stick-built homes, a panelized home is built with factory perfect precision and once the foundation is set, can be weather tight in just a few days. This allows crews to work comfortably as they install all services and finish the home faster with better quality.