New Home Builders Institute Fresh Standards

Much has changed in the home building industry. Not that many years ago new home builders were erecting houses as fast as they could put them together. Housing sales were at an all time high and energy cost and efficiency was the last thing on a builders mind at that time. The economy was good and life was fat. This somewhat distorted view of the economic environment was primarily due to the fact that just about anyone who wanted a new home could walk into a mortgage company and qualify for a no money down low interest loan to buy their dream house. Nothing seemed to matter to the lenders back then and they were handing out loans like there was no tomorrow. Well they did get that part of it right.

In 2008 the economy along with the housing industry crashed and burned. The good times came to a halt and the resulting worldwide economic disaster quickly changed everything and everyone from new home builders to borrowers for good. Millions in America were thrown out of work and jobs dried up as many old American companies that had never seen a bad time laid off their employees and closed their doors for good. This disaster also fundamentally changed the public’s attitude about energy and material efficiency in housing. Because of the publics outcry for efficiency it became important again and businesses and construction companies frantically adapted to this new business environment.

One of the changes that occurred in the housing market was a much keener interest and focus on “Green Housing” by consumers. Green housing primarily focuses on using materials and methods to build houses that are more energy and material efficient. Going green has had an important impact on business. In 2012 green housing will constitute 37% of all new construction. As a consequence, changes were also instituted in standard housing construction practices of new home builders to try and deal with these new consumer demands. As the economy has improved and loan restrictions by banks were loosened, new home builders have taken this new awareness of efficiency to heart. There is much more of a focus now on the insulation values of materials used to increase energy efficiency in a house and to minimize energy loss. Along with this, there is a new emphasis on the types of appliances that are put into new construction. Central air and heating units are much more efficient in their use of electricity and gas and the same is true of stoves and ovens. In fact most of these new appliances are rated for efficiency. A new kind of water heating system is also being used in many homes now. This type is the tank less water heater. Older style water heaters constantly heated water and then stored it in a large tank. When the hot tap was turned on heated water from the tank flowed to the appropriate faucet. This type of heater used a lot of energy. The new energy efficient systems are tank less and only heat water on demand. When hot water is needed the water flows through a coil that only heats the water in the coil. The heat to the coil stops when the hot tap is turned off. New home builders are also using appliances and central air and heating systems that are Energy Star rated for efficiency.