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Building Above Code Carries Big Benefits

In today’s residential new home construction market, more buyers are environmentally aware and expect their new home to be energy efficient. Recent industry surveys show that 79% of home buyers want ENERGY STAR® ratings for the entire home, and that 95% will ask, and are willing to pay for energy-efficient upgrades.1

Builders and contractors who can build above code have a powerful way to differentiate their business and appeal to these discerning new buyers. When builders follow federal programs like ENERGY STAR or Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH), they need to have their work inspected and certified by a third-party expert. This essential step comes with several benefits that builders can use to differentiate themselves in the market and make more money:  

More Revenue

Thanks to the expanded Section 45L New Energy Efficient Home Credit, builders who meet ENERGY STAR or ZERH program requirements could qualify for big savings. For new single family and multifamily construction, builders could receive up to $2,500 tax credit per home for passing ENERGY STAR requirements, and $5,000 per home for meeting ZERH requirements. For multifamily homes, the credit is per unit which can add up to significant dollars.

Better Quality

Working with a home energy rater during the build can also help contractors meet above code program requirements and prevent warranty and customer service issues. A HERS Rater, for example, conducts a Home Energy Rating according to RESNET® Standards and can help identify issues during construction and inspections, allowing builders to address them before the buyers move in.

Minimal Disruptions

Should local codes change, builders who commit to above code programs like ENERGY STAR or ZERH will minimize potential disruptions during purchasing and construction. Code updates may involve resubmitting plans, but above code builders won’t have to change construction methods since they’ll already be ahead of the new local code.

Quantifiable Value

Achieving a certification like ENERGY STAR or ZERH can help builders quantify the value of their above code building practices. Builders can calculate their CO2 emission reductions based on how many ENERGY STAR-certified homes they’ve built. Sharing those numbers with new home buyers and investors can help builders demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and position their company for success in a changing market.

Henry® Can Help

Whatever the third-party certification, meeting it starts with a tight building envelope. That’s because up to 40% of the energy used to heat and cool a building is lost through air leaks in the building envelope*. Henry Building Envelope Systems® can help control the flow of water, air, vapor, and energy. As part of Carlisle Weatherproofing Technologies, our portfolio includes air and water barriers, spray foam, EPS insulation and HVAC sealants.

We’ve produced a quick guide to help you navigate your builder benefits. Download it here today.

Contact a Henry weatherization expert for advice and support on your next job.

1 NAHB What Home Buyers Really Want, March 2021 *U.S. Department of Energy