Canadian and American Homebuilders Target Low HERS Scores in RESNET’s Cross Border Builder Challenge

Jun 25, 2015 1:30 PM ET

Several top energy-efficient builders in the U.S. and Canada were honored through the second annual Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Cross Border Home Builder Challenge.

The competition helps promote the utilization of the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, a nationally-recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance.

“The RESNET Cross Border Challenge is a friendly competition between American and Canadian home builders to determine just how energy-efficient builders can build,” says John Godden, president of Canadian Residential Energy Services Network (CRESNET) in a news release.

This February, the seven builder awards were presented at the RESNET annual conference in San Diego, CA. Builders submitted projects for consideration. Five of the awards were based on having the lowest HERS score for their specific category, and two were special President’s awards based on a fleet of HERS new home ratings. Only production builders who rate 50 or more homes a year are eligible for President’s awards. 

Leading the Way

American production builder KB Home captured the 2015 RESNET President’s Award for the second year in a row, while the 2015 CRESNET President’s Award went to Brookfield Residential. KB Home is one of the largest production builders in the U.S., with a presence in forty markets from coast to coast. The firm provides a HERS score for all of its new homes and has broken ground with its Double ZeroHouse projects, which demonstrate both net-zero energy and net-zero water.

Brookfield Residential is the fifth-largest land developer and homebuilder in North America, with markets in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Alberta and several U.S. states. Like KB Home, Brookfield Residential provides a HERS rating for every new home it builds. The firm has also built several ultra-green demonstration homes, including its latest, the PureBlue Home, completed in Fairfax, VA this March. The home, which earned a -1.0 HERS rating with its solar PV array, also demonstrates a graywater system and rainwater collection.

Rod Buchalter, chair the RESNET Cross Border Home Builder Challenge, says the primary goal of the challenge is to support more homes being HERS rated. This year, just under 20 entries were received. 

The Residential Energy Services Network, a nonprofit that aims to help homeowners lower their utility bills by making their homes more energy efficient, created the HERS index to give homeowners and buyers a standard to measure a home’s performance. There are more than 1 million HERS-rated homes in the U.S. CRESNET was given the exclusive right in Canada to use and adapt all the standards of RESNET.