The use of residential building science to guide the construction or renovation of a home leads to performance improvements that benefit the community and the world at large by greatly reducing the home’s environmental impact.
However, the homeowners themselves also enjoy numerous tangible benefits that improve their lives and leave more of their money in the bank. These benefits include:
- Energy efficiency: Gains in energy effiency result from building the outside walls of a house to incorporate effective insulation and control the movement of air through the walls. The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is the gold standard for evaluating a home’s efficiency. A zero energy home home would import no energy whatsoever and would achieve a HERS score of zero. The average existing home achieves a HERS score of 150, a typical new home 100, and an Energy Star home 85. Ambrose Custom Builders have achieved scores ranging from 24 to 46.
- Comfort: A comfortable house begins with temperature regulation. Our process includes building well insulated and air-tight outside walls, which lead to low heat loss in the winter and low heat gain in the summer, as well as the elimination of drafts and cold/hot spots. Our standard for comfort is a variance of no more than 3 degrees anywhere within the conditioned envelope. Humidity control is a second important aspect of comfort. Our standard for moisture in the air is a relative humidity of 20-55% at all times.
- High indoor air quality: Indoor air quality (IAQ) comes from controlling the moisture levels in the home to prevent microbials, selecting building materials with low concentrations of dangerous adhesives and sealers, and incorporating a ventilation system to provide the occupants with fresh, filtered air at all times. Our standard for ventilation is one complete air change every four hours.
- Safety: Believe it or not, safety involves more than the home not falling down. Our standards for safety include a basement depressurization system for soil gasses, control of interior moisture levels for microbials, and the elimination of combustion devices or the use of sealed combustion equipment to remove the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Low maintenance costs and high durability: A durable, long lasting home is achieved primarily by controlling moisture inside and outside of the home. Our standards include the use of water-managed foundations, air-tight exterior walls, mechanical ventilation systems, and the proper installation of siding and flashing for windows and doors.
- Savings: Ambrose Custom Builders homes have many money-saving features: their heating and cooling systems use less energy and have lower initial installation and maintenance costs, they eliminate future mitigation costs.
- High returns on investments: The measures that reduce heating and cooling expenses usually pay for themselves in less than five years, and the market has demonstrated a willingness on the part of home buyers to pay more for homes that are energy efficient.