Builders enlist help from energy raters and performance consultants to create the most energy-efficient house plans. This process starts with the framing, by looking for gaps and holes which occur due to wood not being uniform.

In phase two, they check insulation to ensure there is enough and that all the walls and the attic are properly covered.

In the final phase, devices are used to perform a multitude of tests to measure the energy efficiency of the house before the homeowner closes on their new home. Many energy-efficiency problems can be fixed by the builder before the closing date.

Home Energy Rating System (HERS)

Home Energy Rating System, or HERS, measures and verifies the efficiency of a home. We talk to a HERS rater to learn more.

More from this category

Trombe wall

Trombe wall on the interior of a home

Using the sun's stored energy to heat your home reduces your conventional energy consumption.

learn more

Air quality and ventilation in new homes

Man showing ductwork to Pete and Megan

New, energy-efficient homes need new solutions to circulate and ventilate the air inside the home.

learn more

Decoding building requirements

house blueprints

Learn about some of the changes for new homes built today. An expert highlights some of the things to consider when building a new home.

learn more

Framing options

Man installing steel framing

You have energy efficient and sustainable options when it comes to framing your new home.

learn more

Geodesic domes

Geodesic dome home

A geodesic design uses interconnected triangles to create a strong, environmentally friendly structure.

learn more

Historic preservation

Boy and grandmother on front porch

A preservation expert shares how to restore an older home economically and energy efficiently.

learn more

New home comfort issues

Graphic of heating and cooling circulating through a house

Our four-part series explores how to handle comfort issues in a new home.

learn more

Habitat for Humanity

Volunteers joining hands

Habitat for Humanity is an organization that provides simple, sturdy homes. Learn how energy efficiency is a key factor in building these homes.

learn more

Talk to your utilities

Utility worker with an electric meter

Before you break ground on a new house, give your utility companies a call. They can help you avoid unnecessary expenses and construction delays.

learn more