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HERS Evaluation from Magrann is on Target

by Chad Ludeman on July 12, 2008 · 7 comments

in energy modeling,Green Programs,LEED

On Wednesday we received our HERS rating evaluation based on our final design from MaGrann Associates who is handling our Energy Star and LEED certifications. We have been working with MaGrann and Zero Energy Design to make improvements to our envelope design and mechanical systems since our initial HERS rating came back much higher than our target score of 50 or 50% more energy efficient than a standard code built home of the same size.

The target of 50 helps us achieve two major goals:

  1. We will be eligible for the energy efficient builder tax credit from the Federal Gov’t for $2,000. This will pay for the solar thermal system along with the Federal solar incentives.
  2. A HERS rating of 50 will give us the points we need in the Energy section of the LEED checklist to obtain our goal of LEED Platinum certification.

MaGrann took our updated mechanical design and actually used some more conservative figures in order to make sure we had some slack if we needed to make minor adjustments at the last minute due to budget. MaGrann also calculated the potential energy use and cost of the house based on our design and I was happy to see that their calculations matched those that Zero Energy Design came up with a few months ago. The total utility bill including both gas and electric is estimated to be around $1,300 a year or just over $100 a month. Since we will be occupying the home for its first years in use, we will be able to compare actual figures to these estimates.

These results are a big load off of my mind as I can finally shift my research focus from the mechicals to the other design and LEED details of the project that still need to be nailed down. Have a great weekend and stay tuned for more geeky research related posts in the coming weeks on ventilation, finishes and green landscaping.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JoeB July 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Congrats on another milestone, Chad!

2 Dane July 12, 2008 at 3:10 pm

I have to agree with JoeB! Congrats!!

3 chad July 12, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Thanks for the encouragement guys!

4 moderns-r-us July 13, 2008 at 2:16 am


Great to hear that you are on target!

Sounds good, but your post never actually says what your new “preliminary” HERS score actually turned out to be. I am guessing it is 50 or better. Is that including the solar hot water system that was talked about earlier? Did they calculate a score without solar?

I look forward to more geeky posts!

5 chad July 13, 2008 at 2:31 am

Good point. The score was 53 and after clarifying the gas boiler to MaGrann they said it would drop to 52. This is with the solar thermal system. I’m not sure what the score would be without the solar thermal.

6 lawless July 13, 2008 at 12:49 pm

I’ve heard the LEED process is expensive and time-consuming. Have you found this to be true in your experience? Any idea how much extra it will cost to qualify the house for LEED certification versus not having it certified? I’m curious about that process.

7 chad July 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm

lawless – I am not at liberty to disclose exactly what I am paying for LEED certifications on the homes as MaGrann has given us a very competitive rate. For more info on the subject and my thoughts on why the extra expense of LEED is well worth it, check out the previous post on LEED Fees.

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