Craftsmen of Homes


Roanoke & Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

Passive House & Energy Efficiency

It's easy to dive deeply into this subject, and get lost "in the weeds" rather quickly.

Framing matters in proper perspective, we should expect any 'energy-efficient' or 'Passive' house to achieve:

  • comfort
  • fresh indoor air
  • durability, and
  • real promise for energy-independence

Each of these topics is worthy of its own consideration, and we invite you to review them more carefully (Passive House Builder). Suffice here to say that the last item on this list doesn't mean very much, if the first three are ignored.

One Scale to bind them all - HERS - energy efficient home design builder Timber Ridge Craftsmen Smith Mountain Lake Roanoke VirginiaRegarding energy-efficiency, we like to reference a common and easily-understood scale to start our discussions: a scale of 100 down to 0. This is the HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Scale/ Index. The number "100" is a baseline; it's a starting point which references a previous version of the energy building code. Every point lower than 100 represents a percentage savings of energy consumption. Thus a home HERS Score of 70 is a 30% reduction compared to the baseline. The lower the score on this scale, the better.

Using this common scale we can better compare and contrast different energy-efficiency programs you may have heard of. For example, the most recent edition of Energy Star for Homes, version 3, aims for that 30% reduction in energy consumption mentioned above. Passive House often achieves a 60 to 65% reduction compared to the baseline. And 'Net Zero' would achieve a reduction of 100%, to score a perfect "0" on the HERS Scale.

In keeping with the larger theme that energy-efficiency is part of an integrated whole of health, well-being, and sustainability - it is best to discuss energy scales, scores, programs, and percentage reductions in the broader context of your own building goals and objectives.

Timber Ridge Craftsmen, Inc.                                                                           540.797.3059

One of Virginia's finest home builders, located at Smith Mountain Lake. We are in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just outside of Roanoke and Lynchburg.