Independent Inspections and Testing
When you’re choosing a new home, you want to know it will be as comfortable, durable, and energy efficient as possible.  With an EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR high-performance certified green custom home, you’ll know that you’ve made a good decision for you and your family.  Our certified homes stand above other homes because they must meet stringent energy efficiency requirements set by EPA.  The better performance and better quality built into every EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR certified home is independently inspected and tested by a Home Energy Rater (HERS rater).  Our HERS rater works with us throughout the construction process to ensure that:

Your new home has the appropriate energy-efficient features that fit your climate region (Climate Zone 4A)
Critical construction details are verified at different building stages
The key systems in your new home are working properly to deliver better efficiency, durability, and comfort

When we work with our HERS rater to meet rigorous EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR requirements, you get an energy-efficient home built better from the ground up - a better approach to building a better home.

Selecting Appropiate Energy-Efficient Features
Usually during the design phase and before construction begins, we submit our home plans to our HERS rater for review and analysis to determine the precise energy-efficient features to include in the home.  HERS raters are specially trained and qualified in advanced, energy-efficient construction techniques to advise builders on how to select and install the most appropriate features for their EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR certified green homes.  This means you get a home that is specially designed to operate efficiently in our specific region of the country.  

Conducting Onsite Inspections and Testing
HERS Raters conduct important onsite inspections and tests of homes to ensure they meet the rigorous program requirements.  This inspection process follows a set of comprehensive EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR checklists designed to deliver better efficiency, comfort, quality, and durability.  A Rater will inspectEarthCraft technical advisor and HERS rater Leo Watkins inputs inspection data into his computer for a custom home at Smith Mountain Lake, VA a certified home at different stages of the construction process to verify critical details before they are “hidden” behind the drywall.

Thermal Enclosure Inspections
– EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR certified green homes are designed and built with a complete thermal enclosure that acts as a barrier to effectively keep the cold out during winter and the heat out during summer so your home is comfortable all year long.  Raters conduct a series of inspections to verify the thermal enclosure is constructed to reduce unwanted leaks and drafts (as well as pollen, pests, dirt, and noise) by making sure that gaps, cracks, and other openings in the house are fully sealed.  In addition, the Rater performs a blower door test to ensure that your home meets the comprehensive air sealing requirements of the EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR program.  The Rater also documents that insulation used throughout the home is at the appropriate level and that it has been installed properly.  This translates to better comfort, durability, and lower utility bills for you.  

HVAC Quality Installation Inspections
– We only work with credentialed contractors who make sure your home’s heating, ventilating, and cooling (HVAC) system is designed and installed for optimal performance that improves the indoor air quality and comfort throughout your home and helps you save on utility bills.  HERS raters perform additional quality inspections to check system installations and test the home’s ductwork to confirm that there is minimal leakage and proper air flow.

Water Management Inspections
– Each certified home is built with a comprehensive water and moisture management system to protect the roof, walls, and foundation of your house.  We use a detailed inspection checklist to confirm that necessary steps are taken to better protect your home from water- and mold-related problems.  We also take special care to protect building materials onsite to make sure they don't become water-damaged during the construction process.

The Trusted Symbol of Energy Efficiency
EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR certification labels on the electric breaker panels of a certified home in Roanoke, VAThe EarthCraft label and the blue ENERGY STAR label on your home will give you peace-of-mind knowing your home has been independently verified to meet the stringent requirements set by EarthCraft Virginia and the EPA.  Our HERS Rater will issue the labels for your home only after the final inspection is completed and the Rater has determined that all program requirements are satisfied.  This label is typically placed on the circuit breaker box and documents that your home is EarthCraft and ENERGY STAR certified.