Developer Nathan Day had energy testing conducted on his National Green Building Standard certified homes to determine if they provide a good return on their higher initial investment. A certified home energy rating team compared Day’s Gold-level certified single-family homes, a community of 16 villas in the Sonoran Desert, to a similar, traditionally built home in the same climate zone. The certified homes, which cost 9 percent to 12 percent more than the traditionally built home, saved 74 percent, or $256, in energy costs each month. Day says paying attention to details such as using the best insulation and lighting options are important considerations when building high-performance houses. Day uses spray-foam insulation, LED lighting and dimming, hybrid water heaters, and dual-pane, low-E windows. In addition, Day notes that high-performance homes last longer, are more comfortable, and require less maintenance. | Read More