The House Designers has sponsored its fourth annual design competition. The national engagement asks architects across the U.S. to produce house plans that can reduce a home’s energy usage by 20 to 30 percent.
House plans must allow builders to reduce the amount of resources and energy used during construction of the residence. In addition, the property must use less energy, water and fewer resources to run on a daily basis.
"We initiated our ENERGY STAR® Home Plan Competition to encourage our designers and architects to create new, energy-efficient, sustainable home plans with the same design detail and amenities that homeowners expect from our best-selling house plans," said Tammy Crosby, Chief Operating Officer of The House Designers.
In the past, winning blue prints have incorporated a large number of green technologies that target specific energy needs found in a residential home. For example, radiant heating has replaced traditional forced hot air systems because of its greater efficiency. The energy-efficient heating solution does not allow for heat to escape from insufficiently insulated vents. In addition, the warmth travels up from the floorboards, heating the surface material of the flooring so that the air will start to warm.
The version of the technology provided by Warmboard uses highly conductive aluminum material for paneling below the surface material of the floor. The metal allows for low energy use and prevents any damage to the floor, regardless of whether the flooring is wood, stone or composite.
Design architects can incorporate the use of radiant heating in his or her design to advance the energy-efficiency of a property and limit its carbon footprint.