NAHB, NAR on Building Envelopes & High-Performance Home Trend

02.06.20
Photo courtesy of Davis Photography and the NAHB

Just a month into the new year and a confluence of industry activity is making 2020 the year of the high-performance home. Below are just a few of the stories we’ve seen on this trend. 

Industry Associations Reinforce Importance of a Tight Building Envelope
Two national industry associations point to high-performance homes as an emerging trend while reinforcing the importance of a tight building envelope in making a home high-performance.

“Big trends in green building include a broad range of advancements in high-performance homes, and a growing willingness among builders to look more closely at the science behind them,” says Dean Mon, 2020 Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “A carefully designed building envelope can be made airtight by installing insulation properly, using air sealing techniques, and sizing mechanical ventilation to increase energy efficiency and improve air quality.”

Whether it’s new construction or existing homes, The National Association of Realtors is also passionate about helping homeowners make their homes high performance. More technology and tactics are now allowing builders and homeowners to reach this goal.

One key is “a super-efficient building envelope with really good construction,” says Craig Foley, chair of the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Sustainability Advisory Group

Phoenix-based realtor Melisa Camp M.Ed., GREEN, LEED AP Homes, agrees. “Making sure the house is really airtight is a big factor,” says Camp. “Our weather is affecting the places where we live, and we have to pay attention. So air sealing is super important, as is fresh-air ventilation.”

Our weather is affecting the places where we live, and we have to pay attention.
So air sealing is super important.

The concept of an airtight building envelope often leads to misconceptions and industry debate. “Our industry has to get past the idea that buildings have to breathe,” Foley says. “Just so we’re clear, that’s BS. Sure, if super insulated buildings aren’t ventilated properly there can be negative consequences. But there’s no question that we need airtight buildings.”

Building a High-Performance Home on a Standard Budget
AeroBarrier was recently used to reduce envelope leakage by 90% in the 2020 New American Remodel — one of the official show homes of the International Builders Show.

The team from Western AeroBarrier achieved a leakage rate of 1.54 ACH, helping this project reach net-zero status.

As high-performance homes become mainstream, builders across the nation are relying on new technologies like AeroBarrier to help them build tighter homes on a standard budget. This trend will continue to unfold through 2020 and beyond.

 

To learn how AeroBarrier works, click here and access case studies showing how builders are applying this award-winning air sealing technology in a variety of home types.

 

For the rest of Mon’s interview, check out the Q&A from Builder and Developer Magazine.
Click here to read the rest of this article from the NAR on efficient and resilient homes.
Photo courtesy of Davis Photography and the NAHB


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