We all know you can’t escape the Texas heat, but you can design around it. Our high-performance homes help keep you cool while using less energy and water.
Here’s what your custom home needs to be both comfortable and energy efficient all year round.
Start with the right lot
The direction a home faces has a tremendous impact efficiency and family lifestyle. The ability to control the sun is key to comfortable living.
Try to choose a home site that faces north and south. In North America there is no significant heat gain from the north, and it is easy to control any heat gain from the south with overhangs and strategically placed porches.
The east provides early morning heat gain, but it is easy to live with. The real enemy of family comfort is the western sun. As the sun sets on a home facing east, it creates a backyard where there is no escape from the scorching sun.
The heat of the setting sun will eventually reach a house regardless of how large a porch is. The only way to create shade on the west side of a home is with vertical shade structures or plants.
Start with the right lot, facing the right direction, and you’ve already overcome one of the biggest challenges.
Pick a building envelope that beats the heat
A building envelope is a barrier between the indoors and the outdoors – and the air conditioning and the heat. Keeping it well insulated goes a long way towards warding off that Texas sun.
We use R21 open cell spray foam insulation in all wall cavities to protect against heat transfer, along with R3 insulation over structural sheathing for improved thermal efficiency and reduced thermal bridging.
The result? Less heat transfer and less reliance on your HVAC system.
Opt for windows that won’t bask in the sun
Windows can draw in the heat over summer and let the cold in over winter. Using Energy Star rated windows with double glazing and highly reflective low-E glass blocks the sun’s heat and glare, helping keep your interiors cooler and reduces damaging UV rays.
Using solar tubes instead of traditional skylights is a good way to let the light in – and keep the heat out. Shades and blinds are a timeless, simple way to keep things cool.
The bottom line
A high-performance home works harder for you. It’s a more comfortable, and more cost-effective home – especially in the Texas heat. Learn about more ways to make your home work harder for you and contact us if you’re ready to get started building your dream.