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Waynesboro home raises the bar for energy efficiency

This article originally appeared in The News Virginian on December 12, 2018.

The residential construction company Hudson Signature Homes has a new energy-efficient house on the market in the Silver Creek subdivision. It has been awarded a Platinum Certification by the home certification company Pearl. Also known as “The Maui,” it is a home with just under 2,700 square feet with three bathrooms and a two-car garage.

Scott Hudson founded Hudson Signature Homes in 1996, following the family tradition of working in the construction industry just like his father and grandfather. Since then, he has been building sustainable homes as the president of the company. However, he did not set out to build this specific house with the idea of winning the Platinum Certification.

“We decided to certify this home after it was completely done,” said Hudson.

In Pearl’s evaluation of the house, one of the ways they tested it for energy was with a blower door test, which allowed them to determine how airtight it is.

“HVAC will lose 40 percent if it’s in an unconditioned crawl space, or a hot attic,” Hudson said. “You lose heat or air conditioning through the duct work.”

Not only does that cause money to be wasted by an unknowing homeowner, but an improper air flow promotes the growth of mold and fungus.

Tim Wilday, a licensed real estate agent with Nest Realty Shenandoah Valley, which is selling the home, said that this is not limited to the rest of the house, but is also true for the crawl space, as well.

“It’s got not only the heat ducts that are in the floor, it also has cold air returns,” said Wilday.

This means that both the temperature and humidity of the crawl space are the same as those of any other room in the house, which reduces the risk of mold forming.

“If you lose heat or air conditioning through the duct work, it’s running through a 140 degree space, or crawl space,” said Hudson, “You could have humidity spikes; you could have mold and fungus growing, in an unconditioned crawl space. And that air gets sucked into the duct work and circulated throughout your house.”

This kind of forethought is what made The Maui a contender for Pearl’s Platinum Certification when Hudson reached out to the company.

“They use us to essentially third-party verify that the home has certain energy efficient assets that will save energy for the owner of the home,” said Lindsay Bachman, the communications director at Pearl Certification. “And then also when they go to sell the home, it will increase the value of that sale.”

Bachman is very much in Hudson’s court in terms of how great of a deal this home is.

“It’s very difficult to get to a Platinum level,” she said. “Pearl has asset certifications in Silver, Gold and Platinum. Platinum homes are in the top three percent of homes for energy efficiency and indoor air quality in all of the country.”

According to Buchanan, Platinum homes often surpass those certified by Energy Star, a program by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy for promoting energy efficient products.

“In each of the asset categories, which are heating and cooling, your base load, your building shell, and the home management, all of those things score really high in Platinum homes,” Buchanan said. “So this home is rockin’ in every single category. Which is, again, what makes it one of the top three percent of homes in the country.”

An open house is held each Sunday at The Maui from 2 to 4 p.m. at 2508 Belvue Rd, in Waynesboro. Wilday and Betty Aguilar, an associate broker at Nest Realty who is also working on selling the home, will be there on Sundays for the open house events. For more information, call (800) 325-6378 to speak with an associate from Nest Realty.


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