AUGUST FEATURE – STAR POWER
The builders and developers of Southern Nevada are the superstars of the local energy efficiency and water conservation movement — and they always have been — with their conservation programs and initiatives dating back, in some cases, almost two decades. ENERGY STAR® builder Distinctive Homes of Las Vegas (DHLV) was one of the first builders in Las Vegas to use blown wall insulation as well as to seal the home tightly. With regard to water conservation, DHLV offers tankless water heaters that heat on demand instead of constantly heating water and storing it until it’s used. Pardee developed its own award-winning LivingSmart® program that delivers practical, tangible rewards to home buyers with standard and optional measures that boost energy efficiency, save water, improve indoor air quality and encourage material conservation and the use of recycled or sustainable resources. In 2003 The Howard Hughes Corporation, developer of Summerlin, made an unprecedented decision to make the master plan the first community in Las Vegas to implement Water Smart conservation guidelines on a community-wide level. Also in 2003, Summerlin became the second community in America to adopt ENERGY STAR® standards. These builders and developer saw the light when it comes to energy and water efficiency, showing that it’s not only the smart thing to do, it is the right thing to do.
DISTINCTIVE HOMES OF LAS VEGAS
Energy efficiency has always been important to Distinctive Homes of Las Vegas (DHLV). They were one of the first builders in Las Vegas to use blown wall insulation and to seal the home tightly. These steps ensure heating and air conditioning works most efficiently and that particulates and pollutants are kept outside.
“We want our homes to offer maximum comfort and energy efficiency and, therefore, we are constantly looking at new materials and technologies. We want to lead the field in the energy efficient home,” said Tony Musso, president and founder of Distinctive Homes.
For well over a decade, DHLV homes have been ENERGY STAR®-rated, meeting the international standard for energy efficiency. DHLV also participants in the Federal Department of Energy Builders Challenge Program to improve energy efficiency with the ultimate goal of building homes that are net zero, producing as much energy on an annual basis as they consume.
In addition, they qualify as an NV Energy Energy Plus Home. To qualify, a home must be graded by an independent rater on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) developed by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). To qualify, the home must score a 70 (ENERGY STAR requires a score of 85 and, as in golf, the lower the score the better.) The builder also offers an incentive that brings them down to a HERS rating of 50 which includes solar panels and upgraded attic insulation.
Water conservation is part of ENERGY STAR and the builder uses other programs that increase efficiency of water consumption. For example, DHLV offers tankless water heaters that heat on demand instead of constantly heating water and storing it until it’s used.
“We build homes as a complete system, looking at every element and process to ensure the entire home is as energy efficient as possible. We have options to bring the homes up to a level that is 50 percent more efficient than a home built to current required building codes,” noted Musso. “We are always looking at new technologies and materials to incorporate into our home.”
Distinctive Homes of Las Vegas has built 21 communities in Southern Nevada since 1980. www.dhlv.com
Since building the first energy efficient homes in Southern Nevada 14 years ago, Pardee has appealed to home buyers who are concerned about the rising cost of energy as well as the environment and dwindling supplies of precious natural resources. That adds up to more than 13,000 energy-efficient homes since 1998, saving nearly 23,000 tons of greenhouse gases annually.
Pardee’s conservation philosophy hinges on saving money, promoting a healthy lifestyle, improving indoor comfort and using resources efficiently are all part of Pardee’s award-winning LivingSmart® program that delivers practical, tangible rewards to home buyers and defines Pardee’s commitment to conserve water, land, and energy. Building LivingSmart homes is part of Pardee’s commitment to build homes for the way people want to live.
Pardee’s exclusive LivingSmart brand is a program with standard and optional measures that boosts energy efficiency, saves water, improves indoor air quality and encourages material conservation and the use of recycled or sustainable resources in new homes. LivingSmart provides more than 30 earth-friendly standard and optional features that apply to every new home the company builds. New Pardee homes offer plumbing fixtures, appliances and landscape design that help conserve water usage in Southern Nevada’s desert environment.
The builder’s commitment to the environment shows. Pardee Homes has earned top honors for its green and sustainable achievements, including being honored as Green Building Corporate Advocate of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in 2010; named Production Home Builder of the Year in NAHB’s Green Building and Energy, Value Housing 2006 Awards; and being named Green Project of the Year by the National Green Building Conference in 2004.
Pardee Homes has built homes and communities for more than 40,000 families throughout Southern Nevada since 1952. www.pardeehomes.com
The Howard Hughes Corporation is a local pioneer in implementing and promoting various environmental causes and programs – some of which date back more than 20 years when Summerlin was still in the early planning stages of development. Throughout the years, the developer has remained consistently committed to environmental preservation and stewardship via active engagement in several worthwhile causes and organizations.
Adhering to a commitment to be wise and responsible stewards of the environment and its natural resources, in 2003, Summerlin became the second community in America to adopt ENERGY STAR® standards. Also that year, The Howard Hughes Corporation made an unprecedented decision to make Summerlin the first community in Las Vegas to implement Water Smart conservation guidelines on a community-wide level.
Recognition of their dedication to preserving Southern Nevada’s environment has garnered them much recognition which has included receiving Water Hero Award from the Water Conservation Coalition in 2011; being named Partner of the Year Award – ENERGY STAR from the EPA 2005; honored with special recognition from the Friends of Red Rock Canyon in 2003; receiving a Landscape Award at the Pacific Coast Builder’s Conference in 2003; and getting a recognition award from The Nature Conservancy in 1998. www.summerlin.com