The BASF Center for Building Excellence today announced that Sierra Homes of Fredericksburg, Texas, has become the nation’s first builder to complete a home under the BEYOND Applied Building Science program for sustainable residential construction.
Sierra Homes is a leading green builder in the scenic Texas Hill Country, having constructed two of the first U.S. Green Building Council LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified homes in the state of Texas. Sierra Homes also was recognized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center as a Gold Energy Value Housing Award winner, and by the Texas Association of Builders (TAB) with its Texas Star Award for the Green Building Project of the Year.
“We applaud Sierra Homes’ owners, David and Teresa Fransik, for their commitment to building science and sustainability, and we are delighted that these recognized leaders now have the distinction of being the first builders to construct a home under the BEYOND program,” said Rick Davenport, Director of Sustainable Construction for BASF in North America.
BEYOND Applied Building Science is an initiative of the BASF Center for Building Excellence, offering consulting, plan reviews and other services to assist builders in constructing homes that go beyond typical new construction in a wide range of metrics and features.
The program emphasizes cost-effective techniques to reach an extraordinary level of efficiency. All homes built to the BEYOND requirements must achieve a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index score of 50 or lower. The BEYOND home built by the Fransiks achieved a HERS score of 47, which means it requires only 47 percent of the energy of a conventional code-built home.
“We are excited to be the first builder to attain the BEYOND Applied Building Science designation and, even more importantly, we are delivering a home to a customer who is thrilled with the result,” said Teresa Fransik, co-owner of Sierra Homes.
Her husband and Sierra Homes co-owner David Fransik said the BASF Center for Building Excellence team assisted them in evaluating multiple approaches to determine cost effective solutions.
“BASF supported us by modeling the performance of various systems and materials, which helped guide our choices and resulted in an overall level of cost efficiency we would otherwise not have achieved,” Fransik said.
The three-bedroom, 3,280 square foot hillside home was constructed with numerous cutting-edge features, including staggered-stud advanced framing, a high-performance heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) design with all ductwork in the conditioned space, an efficient plumbing design with a switched hot water recirculation pump, rainwater harvesting, and a digital monitoring system to give the homeowners feedback on energy use.
Innovative construction techniques included a high-performance, hybrid insulation design in the roof decking – consisting of open-cell spray foam applied on a layer of closed-cell foam. Another unusual technique in residential construction was the use of fluid, spray-applied flashing on the exterior for superior air- and moister-barrier performance.
“A central idea in the BEYOND Applied Building Science program is our contention that sustainable construction isn’t sustainable if it’s not affordable,” said Davenport. “It is very gratifying that a builder with Sierra Homes’ experience and reputation was able to utilize the BEYOND program to deliver a cost-effective, high-performance home. This is a win-win-win for the builder, the homeowner and the planet.”