Sustainability and energy efficiency begin in the design and planning stages of new home communities
By Sergio Flores
Of the many energy-efficient and sustainable homebuilders out there, not many come close to the legacy that Meritage Homes has built in the last two decades, essentially building a brand off of their sustainable and energy-efficient endeavors.
“Part of our promotion of purchasing a Meritage Home has been this call to live better,” said CR Herro, VP of Environmental Affairs for Meritage Homes. “And that means we have to constantly evaluate what that means to us, and what do the experts say is possible for homes.” Every year Meritage revises, improving themselves year after year, whether they are developing pilot programs, or waiting for technology to mature so cost comes down so it does create value.
From LED lights, to solar, home automation, or better insulation, efficient appliances—all are opportunities that Meritage works hard to bring into a positive cost-benefit ratio.
Where many homebuilders deem themselves green on the mere fact that they integrate ENERGY STAR® appliances, this doesn’t exactly bring the overall requirement of the homes’ energy needs drastically down. Instead, green’s real impact needs to be considered in the design and planning process of a new home community. “Changing the way you insulate, changing the type of windows you install, changing the way you frame, putting several breaks around your insulation, the way you build and construct at a community level has the potential to eliminate five times more wasted energy than just flipping out your appliances and putting in better lights,” added Herro. “The big elephant is how you build, not the appliances you install inside.”