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Key Land Homes

In 2020, Minnesota builder Key Land Homes achieved one of the lowest average HERS® score (48.3) in the country for a builder completing more than 50 homes.


Locations: Minnesota
Key Land Homes is a Designated Green Path Builder, a leader in energy-efficient construction, per the Minnesota Green Path Standards from Housing First Minnesota.

In this month’s feature, we asked Key Land Homes Department Manager Tom Schutz to share some insight on building HERS® homes for their customers.

Q: What is special about a HERS® Rated home?

A: Tom: Anytime someone today asked about what a quality home looks like or feels like, we can point to the HERS® rating of the home as one of those features. It is easy for most to provide a picture-perfect home on the surface, but once you get into the walls and structure of the home is where the true quality belongs.  A strong HERS® rating helps builders and homeowners alike understand and realize the quality of that structure for not only energy efficiency but for peace of mind.

Q: Why should consumers ask for the HERS® Index Score on homes they are shopping for?

A: Tom: Again it goes beyond the surface of a structure. Knowing a strong HERS® rating will give them a quality structure, airtight energy efficiency, and a top-performing mechanical system for peace of mind that a builder has its clients’ best interest in mind.

Q: Why does Key Land Homes choose to have their homes HERS® Rated?

A: Tom: Too many times we get caught up in a repetitive cycle and we overlook the small details of a job.  The HERS® rating and the inspection services we utilize help us look for opportunities in which we might improve or call out areas in which we may have overlooked.  But most importantly, we know that building a quality home will provide us with a deep appreciation of homeowner satisfaction. The greatest compliment that we receive from our homeowners is that positive review of our company and knowing that a family will make many happy memories in a Key Land Home.

Q: Why consumers should expect energy-efficient homes?

A: Tom: Every person should be looking at cost-saving. It’s a natural aspect of owning a home and budgeting for the future.  But it’s also about who we are and what we need to do as an industry to minimize the impact on our environment.  As our communities grow the infrastructure needs to grow.  If we continue to grow in our construction practices, which reduces energy dependence, the demand for new infrastructures will be reduced as well.

Q: How many homes does Key Land Homes build with HERS® per year?

A: Tom: Key Land Homes builds around 90-100 homes per year.

Q: How do you market HERS® Rated homes?

A: Tom: This is an area we need to grow in as many consumers do not know what a HERS® rated home is. Signage is seldom read in a model and yet sales agents push the design or surface features of a home over anything else. Understanding the HERS  rating is a very important topic that should not be overlooked and reaching the public is one of Key Land Homes’s main goals for 2021.

Q: How do your customers feel about HERS® Rated homes?

A: Tom: When we sit down with a client at the closing table, we inform them of their HERS® rating for their new home.  It is a very positive reaction and a sense of gratitude on their part that we built them a home that is energy efficient and structurally sound.