February 22, 2023

BetterBuiltNW February 2023 Newsletter



Every month this section features must-read content from past newsletters – just in case you missed it.

What You Need to Know for 2023 Code Changes in the Northwest

Learn how codes are evolving in the Northwest, as each state in the region evaluates and updates their energy codes on a regular cycle. To read this article, click here.

Selling the Benefits of High Performance Homes

This article provides valuable resources and highlights top market motivators to help builders and their sales teams better market new homes, and be more prepared to answer client questions. To read this article, click here.

Programs in the News

RESNET: RESNET Proposes Amendment to QA Standard for Efficiency and Effectiveness: The existing requirements for 10% file Quality Assurance (QA) reviews and 1% field QA reviews have been a requirement of the RESNET Standards since 2004. While the percentages seem fair and are easy to calculate per individual, it is time for those values to be re-evaluated. To read this article, click here.

RESNET: Number of Homes HERS® Rated in the U.S. in 2022 Tops 330,000 Mark: In good news for the HERS® industry, the number of homes that were HERS rated and received a HERS Index Score in 2022 continued to break historical records. In 2022, there were 337,962 HERS Rated homes in the country. This pushed the total number of HERS Rated homes in the U.S. to more than 3.6 million. To read this article, click here.

RESNET: Explaining the HERS® Score: National home builder Stanley Martin Homes produced a video that features its president, Michael Schnitzer, explaining to consumers the HERS Index and why the company HERS Rates its homes. To read this article, click here.

RESNET: Congress Passes Legislation: Vets and Active Military for VA Loan Program: For the past two years, RESNET has worked on the “Veterans Home Energy Savings Act,” which would incorporate energy savings documented by HERS® Ratings in Veteran Home Loans. The legislation creates a process for veterans and service members purchasing energy-efficient homes to factor lower-cost energy bills into their residual income requirement, allowing them to qualify for higher VA home loans and incentivizing home upgrades that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To read this article, click here.

Built Green Case Study: The Elements Courtyard Townhomes: A dynamically landscaped central courtyard and expansive views provide a feast for the eyes at The Elements on Dexter townhome development by Gamut360 Holdings. This Queen Anne development features ductless heat pump space conditioning and gas tankless water heater systems, combined with taped seam house wrap, EcoBatt wall insulations, Low-E windows, ENERGY STAR®-certified dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, and LED lighting. These features contribute to the homes achieving modeled performance of a 25.7% improvement over 2015 WSEC. To read this article, click here.

Built Green: Building Spaces of Belonging: Building a home has always been more than a construction project on a plot of land. It is the creation of a physically and psychologically safety place where hopes and dreams can flourish, a place to make connections with others, raise families and grow old, a place to call home. To address these issues, Built Green implemented the Equity and Social Justice Section into its latest checklists to codify the intent of addressing inequality and alleviating barriers experienced by marginalized populations. Built Green reallocated long-standing credits for building accessory dwelling units, stakeholder engagement, and transit-oriented, pedestrian-friendly, accessible design into this new section. Additional new credits were conceived to offer flexibility to a variety of company sizes, project types, and site contexts. To read this article, click here.

Zero Energy Project: Heat Pump Dryers: Low-Impact Laundry: If you are interested in reducing up to 10% of your household energy use and your electric bill with a single purchase, it’s time to consider heat pump dryers. “An electric dryer can use anywhere from 700 to 1000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. That’s about a tenth of the average American’s electricity usage,” said Joe Wachunas, electrification advocate for Electrify Now and Project Manager at New Buildings Institute. To read this article, click here.

Zero Energy Project: DOE Targets Air Leaks in Path to Zero Carbon: The U. S. Department of Energy released the residential segment of the U.S. Building Stock Characterization Study to give decisionmakers a science-based tool to identify technologies and solutions to drive the U.S. housing stock toward zero carbon operation. To read this article, click here.

Energy Vanguard: Undersized Heat Pump in an Arctic Blast: When considering using heat pumps to heat and cool a home, many express anxiety regarding how units will perform when the weather is extremely cold or hot. In this article, Energy Vanguard’s Allison Bailes explains how his undersized heat pump performed remarkably well during below-freezing temperatures this winter. To read this article, click here.

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