Environments for Living
Masco, a world leader in the manufacturing of home improvement and building products, is hoping to "redefine" the high-performance house as it relates to homeowners across the nation. The company not only makes products; its contractor-services division installs much of the insulation that goes into buildings around the country. To encourage builders across the nation begin applying the latest building science principles, Masco created the Environments For Living® program. In doing so, they tapped into the expertise of the country's foremost building scientists to assist in the definition, development, and administration of the program.
Creating the Right Environment
It's not a simple matter of selecting and installing predefined products that earns a builder the Environments For Living designation. Many different factors can influence how energy efficient a new home will be, as well as its durability and occupant health and safety. So the real challenge is understanding how various building materials and other influences come together to affect the house as a system.
Masco's program begins with a review of the builder's plans. To bring plans up to the Environments For Living standards, builders may need to make various plan changes. For example, they may need to reduce the size of the HVAC system, add a ventilation system, use better windows, or change framing details and insulation specifications. Although Masco provides a full range of building products, the program specifications are always performance-based, and do not require builders to use any particular manufacturer's products.
Builders can choose from three levels of program participation: Silver, Gold or Platinum. Requirements for construction and performance are progressively more demanding for each level. Certain levels of participation result in additional qualification under the EPA Energy Star® and DOE Building America programs.
The Benefit of Guaranteed Results
What does the Environments For Living program really mean to homeowners and builders?
The Environments For Living program is offered by national and regional production builders and local custom builders, and is now available to homeowners in many states across the nation.
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