Nova Homes of South Florida Building 'High Performance' Homes
What is a High Performance Home?
‘High performance homes’ is a term that many people aren't really aware of, or understand the benefits of. What goes into the process of building a high performance home? Nova Homes of South Florida provides each and every homeowner with a high performing home, from what’s behind the walls, to what’s in front of the walls.
The Energy Act of 2005 defines a ‘high performance building’ as one that “integrates and optimizes all major high-performance building attributes, including energy efficiency, durability, life-cycle performance, and occupant productivity.” From this definition, it’s clear that a high performance home will not just be energy efficient, but will also incorporate wider sustainability, durability, safety and cost-in-use features.
We will attempt to answer your questions and provide clarity regarding exactly what a high performance home built by Nova Homes of South Florida means. Two important questions we will answer are:
What are the benefits of a high performance home?
What is the “Value” of a high performance home?
Like high performance cars, including Lamborghinis and Ferraris, a home can be high performance too. Efficiency, innovative design, and a “personalized approach” are three characteristics of a high performance home. Inspired design planned to reach a level of performance is what Nova Homes brings to every home built. Each home we build is customized to fit the lifestyle and needs of the homeowner. Whether they customize one of our fourteen models, bring in a plan of their own, or our team designs a home from scratch, we take the personalized approach concerned with the usability and functionality of every home we build. Our promise is to provide for your family a home that performs for all of you.
Our High Performance Team
Our high performance team of dedicated individuals work together as a unit. A high performance team is having all members with identifiable roles related to specific activities to accomplish the team’s goals and objectives, and to meet the company’s specific goals. Cooperation among our high performance team reflects our philosophy to create exceptional homes for our homeowners. Everyone here understands both team and individual performance goals and knows what is expected.
Home Design for the Homeowner’s Needs
The key to designing your perfect home is making sure it meets both your present and future needs. Flexible living areas, linked indoor/outdoor spaces and home workstations make sure your home can adapt as your family grows and life changes occur. A high performance home shouldn’t just look good; it should feel good and work for you and your family for many years.
Durability and Resilience
Your Nova Homes’ home will not just last one lifetime, but several lifetimes. Durability is a factor in every decision made on materials, finishes and construction methods. We prefer more resilient alternatives to some traditional products. It’s important to consider the whole-life cost of products when setting your budget for your home. Selecting durable products may mean a slightly higher up-front cost, but better value and savings over the long term, and even short term.
A core element of a high performance home is energy efficiency. Building a home with a great thermal performance is a no-brainer. You get a more comfortable home, lower energy bills and help tackle climate change. There’s no reason not to do it. Residential energy use accounts for around 21% of U.S. energy usage yearly. Our focus is to first create an insulated, air-tight building envelope. Our second goal is to offer high-efficiency appliances, fixtures, finishes, and heating and cooling systems, to provide a home that meets your needs and comfort.
The Building Envelope/Air Quality
The goal of air sealing is to create a continuous barrier around the conditioned living space against unwanted airflow. Unwanted airflow equates to unwanted loss of conditioned air and gain of unconditioned air. For optimum control, gaps are sealed throughout the construction process: during framing, before insulating, before installing drywall, after installing drywall and interior finishes, after installing fixtures, and during the final punch-out. The building envelope is built around, under and above the living space of a home. The "tighter," or more complete, the building envelope, the less likely water will be able to get into the walls and damage the structure or cause mold growth. When we think of air pollution, we don’t really consider it in the context of our homes.
HVAC System: Sizing, Design, and Installation
What is behind the walls is important to high performance homes. The parts of a home you don't see that perform for your family will improve the quality of their lives, and reduce energy costs. An HVAC unit with properly sized heating and cooling equipment will run more frequently, helping to mix the air in the home and provide more uniform temperatures. Design of the distribution system, including the sizing of ductwork is important for delivering conditioned air throughout the home and ensuring that it mixes well with the home's existing air. Correct air distribution minimizes temperature stratification and eliminates drafts. Overall quality control must be rigorous during installation of the HVAC system or all the design and engineering effort is pointless.
A poorly sealed duct system can render even highly efficient heating and cooling systems wasteful. The quality of the duct work can ultimately determine the efficiency of the heating and cooling system, but poorly sealed ducts pose other threats besides wasted energy and money. Ducts that are leaky or not properly sealed pose several serious risks to the home's occupants. For example, holes or poorly sealed joints in the duct system force conditioned (heated or cooled) air into places it should not be. Nova Homes takes extreme precaution installing all equipment to prevent future problems that may detract from our goal of providing high performance homes.
Selecting what materials to use to cover a new home, picking the right roof,can significantly affect the durability, health and comfort of a home as well as improve energy efficiency. Cool roofs reflect the solar radiation (heat) away from the house, making a home more comfortable during the warm Southwest Florida months.
New Homes vs. Older Homes
New homes use less energy and water than their standard counterparts. When building your custom dream home with Nova Homes you will have a more cost-efficient home, a better insulated home, and a more personalized home than purchasing an existing home. With new building technologies and more efficient materials, building a new construction home makes more sense today than ever before.
Environmental performance is not just about reducing the energy consumption of the home. Taking a whole life cycle approach means you look at all the environmental impacts relating to the construction and use of your home. So what does this mean? It means looking at the materials that go into constructing the home, and how they’re produced and disposed of. It means thinking about how the building will need to perform not just now but ten, twenty or even fifty years into the future.
Digitally Enhanced Homes
Consideration of technology in home design used to be just about making sure there were enough power outlets. But all this has changed. With the growth of smarter home technology, our heating and cooling systems, appliances, entertainment and security systems can be linked together for easy control. You can interact with your home even when you’re on the move. These smart systems can save you time and money and allow your home to adapt to your lifestyle.
Programmable thermostats allow occupants to manage the temperature of their home over the course of a week to maximize comfort while minimizing energy waste.
A Sound Investment
A high performance home can be a very sound investment. The features that comprise your high performance home designed specifically for your family is what buyers in the future will be looking for as well. If and when for whatever reason you decide to sell your home, you will have the advantage over other homes on the market due to the Nova Homes’ goal of providing an exceptional high performance home.
For more information about Nova Homes' High Performance homes call 239.307.6116 or visit www.novahomesbuilder.com