ISEEB (Institute for Super Energy Efficient Building) is involved with promoting higher levels of building envelope energy efficiency for both EXISTING as well as NEW homes & buildings. This effort is designed to provide a very positive impact upon the environment and climate change mitigation efforts.
In addition to the environmental benefits, SEE also provides substantial economic benefits to their owners and the communities where the SEE homes are built or retrofitted. The owners of SEE homes and buildings will enjoy greatly reduced energy needs – – the dollar savings of which can generally cover any additional financing costs to reach SEE standards for both new or existing homes. Also, the communities where SEE homes are being built and/or retrofitted are benefitted through the creation of well-paying jobs in construction and related fields. In fact, SEE’s economic benefits alone, justify converting all homes and buildings to SEE levels of energy efficiency.
The above is all in addition to the increased comfort that the occupants of a SEE building benefit from. Healthy, quiet, and draft-free living or working conditions come standard with every SEE building.
SEE (Super Energy Efficiency) is a technically easy level of much higher building envelope/enclosure performance that can be economically achieved with common building materials and only slightly different construction methods. Newer, but more costly hi-tech methods are also available to achieve SEE performance. A SEE building will by definition use 75% less energy for heating and cooling than an identical building built to the minimum standards of the 2006-IECC (International Energy Conservation Code) – – a common level of energy efficiency prescribed by most minimum building codes. Those 2006-IECC minimum standards are what is used to determine the base house for HERS ratings – – the most commonly used standard for rating a building’s energy efficiency.
SEE standards are ideally undertaken during new construction for cost and ease of application – – adding only about 10% or less to the cost of the construction. Any additional costs to meet SEE Standards can be covered easily and immediately by energy dollar savings, if the building is conventionally financed. If the additional costs are treated as an investment and paid for up front, SEE will provide an excellent ROI (Return on Investment).
However, new construction only accounts for a small percent increase annually of our total homes and buildings. Understanding that for SEE’s climate, economic, and comfort benefits to be available to the total home & building owning population, ISEEB’s primary emphasis is currently aimed towards retrofitting existing buildings – – in addition to new construction efforts.
The costs of retrofitting an existing home or building vary more than for new construction for a multitude of reasons – – age, condition, type of construction, etc. A SEE retrofit is not inexpensive, however, an increase in value is added to an existing home or building. Exterior renovation actions as well as energy efficiency improvements add to the value of a building. Both costs and the increased value of a home’s energy efficiency can be determined prior to any construction being undertaken. It is important to note that whenever ongoing maintenance aspects or renovation of a building are being considered or required, it is the most economical time to consider major building envelope energy efficiency improvements. However, any building, regardless of any need for renovation, should be considered for an economically viable SEE retrofit.