Friday, June 12, 2009

Exciting news from Mike Holcomb of AES (Our LEED for Homes rater) and Adam Bearup of Hybrid Homes our "Vineyard Project" just received a HERS score of 34. This is the lowest score Mike Holcomb has every tested as a rater and possibly the lowest score in the State of Michigan. This extremely low HERS score means that our "Vineyard Project" is now projected at the "Platinum" Level under the LEED for Homes program. Both Adam and I are very excited about this news.

What is a HERS, or Home Energy Rating System score? Well it is basically a rating of how energy efficient a home is based on a number of things, including a blower door test, the HVAC system, energy usage, and so on. The HERS rating is what is used to qualify a home for the Energy Star Rating. The rating is based off of a standard new home built to code that was rated originally tested and used as the test case with the score of 100. A typical older home has a HERS index of 125-150. Most homes that qualify for Energy Star homes must have a HERS rating of 85. That means that those homes are 15% more energy efficient than the test house. This is really good and a step in the right direction. Most of our homes have been scoring in the 50's, which is where we would expect the to fall. That HERS score would qualifies our homes as 5 star+ in the Energy Star rating system. The "Vineyard Project" came in at 34 (lower the better) making it 66% more efficient than a new home built to code.

Based on their Home Energy Rating System (HERS) scores, the average home certified under LEED for Homes since its launch in February 2008 is predicted to use an estimated 30-60% less energy than a comparable home built to International Energy Conservation Code. Based on the average HERS ratings for each level of LEED certification, these homes could potentially see energy reductions of:
  • Certified: Up to 30%.

  • Silver: Approximately 30%.

  • Gold: Approximately 48%.

  • Platinum: 50-60%.

As many know, Adam and I are firm believer in Kaizan ( A Japanese philosophy Adam introduced me too), or continuous improvement. We are continually studying the design & construction of our homes to make improvements to them so they are as energy efficient as possible within their budgets. So even though a HERS rating of 34 is the best we have achieved so far our goal are to continually improve upon that score with the ultimate goal of a HERS score of 0. You can read Adam's take on it at his blog.


Anonymous said...

Actually, a HERS Score of 34 would mean that your house is 230% worse than the 1993 Model Energy code.

Image Designs, LLC said...

Our HERS score is based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Not the 1993 Model Energy Code which has been phased out

Anonymous said...

Actually a HERS score of 34 means that it is 66 points closer to being a net zero home than the standard reference home based on the 2006 IECC. It also means that it is 51 points closer to being a net zero home compared to the minimum requirements for an ENERGY STAR home (85 points).

Image Designs, LLC said...

Actually your wrong again please read the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). A zero energy home is assigned a HERS Index of 0. Meaning it is 34 points from being a net zero home.