The US Green Building Council is moving toward a Housing version of its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards: LEED-H.Â Out of the box in the test program is a BASF demonstration home in New Jersey which will required 20% of the energy of comparable homes in the area.Â This is part of BASF’s Better Home, Better Planet initiative.
This home has a variety of paths toward high energy efficiency. Key among them wereÂ insulating and building envelope materials like high-performance structural insulated panels (SIPs) and insulated concrete forms (ICFs)Â that offer superior insulating performance. And, they were sealed so as to minimize unwanted air flows.Â And, this enables the installation of smaller HVAC systems than would have otherwise been required.
In terms of renewables, there will beÂ solar energy.
BASF lays out the important Cost to Own (versus cost to buy) argument. The average home has a $1700 annual heating/cooling bill.Â Cut by 80%, that is reduced to $340.Â Pay $10k more for a home and that would be like a 14.6% ROI — or about 8 percent more than a high interest rate.Â At $20k, the savings would more than pay for the loan. And, of course, those savings go up (while a sensible mortgage stays flat), as the home owner is protected from energy costs.
More and more companies are joining the realization that being energy smart is profitable.
In this case, BASF is seeking to move money paid to utilities into their pockets. Help the homeowner make capital investments that will be saved through lower costs of owning the home.