Validating the DreamDecember 13, 2011
Guest Author: CR Herro – Vice President, Environmental Affairs
The last couple years have been big for Meritage.
We became the first U.S. home builder to have 100 percent of its homes certified by the EPA’s Energy Star program. In July 2010, we opened the first community to boast nothing but homes with less than 40 HERS. And since then, we’ve opened another 30 communities with equivalent energy scores, communities that exceed the Department of Energy’s stretch goal for energy efficiency for 2030.
Earth Day 2011 saw Meritage’s announcement of the production of its first net zero home (today, 30 communities offer a net-zero option to home buyers) and the completion of the first EPA triple-certified home. Those certifications included the EPA Energy Star for Homes, the EPA Indoor Air Plus, and the EPA Water Sense.
These achievements and certifications were followed by a number of awards in the last two years, including:
• 1st 100% Energy Star Production Builder
• 1st HERS<40 Community Builder
• 1st NET ZERO Production Builder
• 2010 Community of the Year, Green Homebuilding Magazine
• 2011 Energy Star Builder of the Year, EPA
• 2011 EnergyValue Housing Award (EVHA), NAHB
• 2011 Peoples’ Choice Award, NAHB Research Center
• 2011 Best Green Building Program, McSAM People’s Choice Awards
• 2011 Crescordia Award (“To Grow in Harmony”), Valley Forward
• 2011 MAME “Best Energy Efficiency,” North State BIA
Awards like these validate the dream of energy-efficient building, something that was for so long a far-fetched notion. We’ve taken the idealized models, the theories developed for decades, the concepts all but relegated to science fiction, and demonstrated that they actually work, are cost effective, and make no compromises.
It’s time home buyers reset their expectations of the home they live in — the home they raise their families in — and start demanding this level of achievement from their home builders. Anything less is settling for inferiority in a time when few have to.