Building an Energy Efficient Home: Structural and Energy Home Innovations

Building a home that is more energy and structurally efficient is great for your wallet and the planet. Unfortunately, these items are sometimes overlooked in the planning process because let’s face it, they aren’t as sexy as talking about finishes and floor plans and that amazing patio you’ve been dreaming of. 

But wouldn’t it be nice to know your entire home was being built with these innovations in mind as opposed to having to add them later or go without them once you’ve moved in? That is the Advantage philosophy–to look at every aspect of the project right from the start. 

Think of it like buying a car. It’s easy to be wooed by the design and roominess (and that’s important too!) but it’s also important to pop the hood and see what the engine can do. There are a lot of factors that go into creating an energy-efficient car, and the same is true for houses. 

The reality is that in today’s world, some houses are better built than others. Like cars, much of it comes down to the care and attention, the science, and innovation. The very best cars have the energy and structural innovation infused within — not added on. 

That’s the approach we take for homes. Our team has spent the past 15 years pioneering a new way to build homes, one that takes structural and energy innovation into account from the start. Over the years, this mindset has helped us build some of the highest-rated energy efficiency homes not only in the Corridor, but in the nation.

Our Unique Approach

The “how” behind our super-efficient homes can be summed up in a few words: a whole home concept. 

In the early 2000s, many builders in the industry were concentrated on geothermal systems. However, geothermal systems were expensive, and we knew it would take more than just a highly-efficient heating and cooling system to make a home truly energy efficient.

Instead, our team took a step back and focused on the house as a whole. We took the money we would have spent installing geothermal and applied it to every aspect of the house, making each feature as energy efficient as possible – LED light bulbs, insulation, top-of-the-line heating and cooling systems, energy-efficient windows, and more. The result? A new construction home with crazy-high levels of energy efficiency. 

We’ve applied this approach to every home we’ve built since. Like any other industry, trends come and go in the energy efficiency world. Instead of getting stuck on the latest-and-greatest energy efficiency fad, we take that new technology and determine the best way to combine it with our existing energy efficiency measures. At the end of the day, all aspects of your home should work together to create maximum energy efficiency – hence our whole home concept. 

Savings at Every Step

Taking this approach saves you money upfront — during the build– and also after you own the home. How?

Most people understand how a highly energy-efficient home saves you money long term in areas such as electric, heating, cooling, and other energy costs. However, our process also saves buyers money up-front during the build. As we’ve fine-tuned our innovations over the years, we’ve figured out how to design and build a highly-efficient home for less without sacrificing quality. 

Of course, the materials we use to build your home also matter. We use top-of-the-line products that many other builders don’t, making for a tighter and more structurally solid home. The result is a superior home that continues to save you money on heating and cooling over time. 

A Reduced Environmental Footprint

More money in your pocket is great, but what if you could know that your home was also doing good for the environment? Our energy-efficient homes come with that peace of mind. 

Let’s go back to our car example earlier. Why do many Prius owners buy a Prius in the first place? To save money on gas, sure. But that’s usually coupled with another reason: to reduce emissions that are harmful to the environment.

That same two-fold reasoning applies to our homes. Heating and powering homes requires the burning of fossil fuels, which is a large source of our planet’s greenhouse gas emissions. By using electricity more efficiently and reducing wasted energy during home heating and cooling, our energy-efficient homes help combat these sources of pollution, lowering you and your home’s environmental footprint. 

Over the years, we’ve had many customers tell us the environmental friendliness of our homes was a deciding factor in choosing Advantage as their builder. The small touches we incorporate in your home today can have a big impact down the line. 

Why We Do It

The team actually began digging into the energy efficiency side of home building in 2004. By 2010, our work and innovations paid off when we built a home in Mackinaw Village in Iowa City that was in the top 2-3% in the country in terms of energy efficiency. 

By 2019, our expertise began to set the standard in the industry. Advantage founder and owner Chad Keune was named a Master Certified Green Professional, a designation reserved for builders who have dedicated their careers to building greener homes. 

Ultimately this expertise and our team’s executions in this area led to awards, designations, and recognition, but that’s not the reason we do it. Those are by-products. Our team takes pride in knowing that when we walk away at the end of a project, we have built the highest-quality home possible, with the least impact on the environment, while saving our customers money for years to come.

Innovation is Our Goal

Over the years, our name has become synonymous with the highest energy efficiency homes in the business. Innovation has always been the goal, and we’re not done yet. We plan to continue pushing the industry forward and finding new ways to bring the highest standards of structural integrity and efficiency to the homes we build. 

Ready to build your custom dream home with the highest energy efficiency standards? Want to learn more about the benefits of our structural and energy innovations? Reach out, and we’d be happy to sit down and talk!

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