BPC’s homes deliver many benefits only green homes can offer, and some benefits only BPC green homes provide. These BPC green home benefits fall into these five major categories and various subcategories as shown.
BPC Green Home Benefits Include:
Every BPC home includes a comprehensive package of measures to improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) so it meets or exceeds the EPA “Indoor airPLUS” certification standards. This translates to the virtual elimination of airborne allergens from the outdoors. In addition, low VOC (volatile organic compound) finishes and building products are specified. All BPC homes include energy recovery ventilators (ERV) that provide continuous fresh outdoor air, and air filtration to meet any standard can be incorporated. People who have respiratory problems, as well as those who don’t, benefit from superior indoor air quality.
All BPC homes are built with a high-performance airtight thermal envelope surrounding the conditioned living areas. This envelope features superior insulation from the basement to the attic; triple-glazed European windows; and fresh filtered air that is circulated evenly and continuously, assuring all parts of your home’s conditioned space are at an even, comfortable temperature and humidity (by zone if your home is zoned). In fact, we warrant the consistency of temperature and humidity in your home.
BPC homes are exceptionally quiet, which is a byproduct of the superior strategies we use to control air, heat, and moisture flows. Outdoor noise is greatly reduced, and the home’s conditioning systems are much quieter (and smaller) than those used in conventional homes.
WELL-DESIGNED IN EVERY WAY
BPC homes are green, but they are also designed by top architects to be wonderful homes in every way, designed around each of our client’s own needs, preferences, and desires.
2. Perform Better
BPC homes are built using the latest building science strategies to construct the thermal envelopes (including some that have emerged from the US DOE’s world-class research program, Building America), as well as materials and systems from green building industry sources in the US and abroad. We use energy efficient, high-performance products for temperature and humidity control, energy recovery, air filtration, heating and cooling, hot water, lighting and more. Many BPC homes have the latest solar photovoltaic systems, reducing or eliminating energy costs while generating clean energy.
ULTRA ENERGY EFFICIENT AND HIGH PERFORMANCE
Achieving a high level of efficiency is the result of the meticulous attention we pay to controlling your home’s flows of air, heat, and moisture. Our homes typically meet European standards* for exceptionally low air leakage. Our insulation strategies for the walls and roof typically include a thick layer of continuous insulation, an unusual feature in American homes but also an essential feature of a highly energy efficient home.
*European standards are more rigorous than US standards.
BPC HOMES EARN EXCEPTIONAL “HERS” SCORES
HERS stands for “Home Energy Rating System” and is a nationally standardized method of comparing a home’s energy performance based on the factors that make a home more or less energy efficient. BPC homes built today have HERS ratings that prove they use a small fraction of the energy conventionally built homes use, with some using zero net energy from the grid, meaning no energy bills, due to net metering regulations. Some BPC homes produce even more energy than they use each year and are Positive Energy homes.
3. Last Longer
QUALITY DESIGNED, ENGINEERED AND BUILT
BPC customers can rest assured that their homes will be quality built thanks to BPC’s expertise in advanced, building science-based engineering, construction practices, and technologies. Moreover, BPC homes are not just inspected by municipal inspectors to verify that they meet local building code minimums, they are also inspected by third party, independent verifiers to meet the industry’s highest performance standards.
The building practices, materials, systems, and engineering that go into every BPC home result in homes that are more durable and last longer, requiring fewer repairs and having longer useful life cycles.
ENERGY COST SAVINGS
BPC homes reduce energy bills, some to zero and some to the point where they generate income from surplus energy. Homes with solar photovoltaic systems receive credit for the excess energy they produce during the day and feed back into the grid, thanks to net metering regulations. This offsets some or all of the energy BPC homes pull from the grid. With the cash incentives and tax credits available for the purchase of solar PV systems, the ROI is excellent.
LOWER MORTGAGE PITIE
Homeowners taking out mortgages should look at PITIE (Principle, Interest, Taxes, Insurance, Energy) instead of using the old PITI (Principle, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance) when figuring their monthly costs. With the PITIE method, the energy savings is factored in so your PITIE often can be less than the PITIE of a conventionally built home, even factoring in the additional cost to build a green home with solar panels and the additional insulation and high-performance systems.
USE FREE CLEAN ENERGY
BPC homes use free clean energy in two different ways. First, BPC homes today often include photovoltaic solar panels. Panels which keep going down in price and up in the amount of energy they can generate per panel. Second, BPC homes are often designed to maximize the use of what is called Passive Solar Energy. This occurs when south-facing windows capture radiant heat from the sun in the winter during the day and store the heat inside the home for use at night. Solar heat gain in the summer is minimized by the use of roof overhangs and the specification of special glass in the windows.
LOWER MAINTENANCE, LOWER COSTS
Because BPC homes are engineered and specified to be durable, BPC homeowners save money on repairs and replacement costs of systems and other parts of their homes.
ENHANCED RESALE ROI & HOME BUYER APPEAL*
With ever increasing energy costs, and as climate change and other environmental issues become more of a concern for everyone, when it comes time to sell your new home, future home buyers will expect homes to be energy efficient and environmentally responsible. Green homes will have more appeal to buyers and so, logically, will sell at higher prices and before homes that aren’t. Even today, green homes are re-selling at higher prices than non-green homes.
*It is impossible to predict the future sale price or sales appeal of any given home. However, based on the current sale prices of green homes, the increasing concern of homeowners about climate change, and the trend to higher energy prices, BPC believes that the relative sale price and relative saleability of a green home will be better than that of a conventionally built home of equivalent size, finish, layout, location, etc.
COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE
BPC homes are part of the solution, not the problem. The green building design, methods, and technologies BPC use when building homes, means BPC homes create little-to-no carbon emissions while lived in. The homes BPC builds today use “Carbon Smart” materials, such as insulation that contains carbon and so fixes that carbon into the home’s structure for the life of the home. They don’t use certain conventional building materials that, while being made or installed, actually release more carbon into the atmosphere than the carbon emissions they help prevent the home from emitting while lived in. And many BPC homes produce excess clean energy during the day that they feed into the grid (for energy credits) and so reduce the carbon emissions from power plants.
REDUCE POLLUTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE
In addition to reducing your home’s carbon footprint, BPC homes help reduce other types of pollution in the air, water, and landfills. Furthermore, BPC homes reduce the demand for fossil fuels and help reduce the amount of environmental destruction and health hazards that fossil fuel extraction causes.
BPC homes are sustainably built because BPC incorporates sustainability best practices in the design, construction, selection of building products, and materials sourcing into the homes we build. BPC homes also fight climate change, pollution, and waste during construction and while the home is used. Additionally, BPC homes reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels, which in turn reduces carbon and other harmful emissions when those fuels generate power, and reduces damage to the environment because of the way the fuels are extracted.
How BPC Assures You Get These Green Home Benefits
BPC builds all of its green homes to meet certification requirements for one or more of the national third-party green building standards. These standards exceed current local and national building code standards for new homes in every way that impacts the benefits you get from a green home.
The baseline for BPC homes built today is the US Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home standard, but we are often asked to build to even higher or more comprehensive green building standards including Net Zero Energy Homes (ZEH), Positive Energy Homes, the National Green Building Standard, Passive House, and LEED for Homes.