Pearl Homes is pushing the barriers of sustainability and revolutionizing green building practices in affordable and workforce housing development projects. Founded by Marshall Gobuty, Pearl Homes focuses on building zero-energy single-family homes and multi-family units that meet at the intersection of affordability and sustainability.
In this month’s feature, we asked Marshall S. Gobuty, President and founder of Pearl Homes to share some insight on building HERS® homes for their customers.
Q: What is special about a HERS® Rated home?
A: Marshall: What makes a HERS®-rated home unique is the combination of design considerations, best-practice construction techniques, and independent third-party verification that comprise the final rated home. Ultimately, a home that is HERS®-rated delivers to the homeowner a healthy and comfortable indoor environment, durability for the lifetime of the home (resulting in lower long-term maintenance costs), and a home with maximized operational efficiency. We are particularly excited about the inclusion of the new Carbon Index that we can share with our homeowners. This allows us to communicate how the HERS® Index can help lower their environmental footprint for the lifetime of the home.
Q: Why should consumers ask for the HERS® Index Score on homes they are shopping for?
A: Marshall: Consumers should ask for a HERS®-rated home when shopping for a new home because of the many benefits that the HERS® Rating can offer them:
• Energy efficiency and best-practice construction techniques that have been independently verified.
• Lower long-term maintenance costs associated with increased building durability.
• Lower utility costs over the lifetime of the home.
• A healthy, comfortable indoor environment.
• Lower carbon emissions [via the Carbon Index]
• Potentially higher resale value of their home.
Q: Why does Pearl Homes choose to have their homes HERS®-Rated?
A: Marshall: HERS® rating every home allows us to leverage third-party verification to keep the quality of what we do consistent and set the standard of expectation as high as possible. It also allows us to communicate to our homeowners a simple “miles per gallon” metric for the home so that they can understand just how well they can expect their home to perform. We can also assure them of the integrity of this process because every home is independently verified.
Q: Why consumers should expect energy-efficient homes?
A: Marshall: As the cost of operating our homes continues to rise year over year, the value of an efficient home becomes more critical to each homeowner. It is the single largest investment most people will make in their lifetime. Operational costs saved over the lifetime of a home can compound quickly – consider it a savings payment given annually to the homeowner, freeing up income otherwise spent on inefficient home operation. And as we face challenges with a changing climate, we continue to push the operational expectations of our homes. Just this past summer, we’ve seen record-high temperatures broken day after day. For homeowners, that also means record-high utility costs.
Q: How many homes does Pearl Homes build with HERS® per year?
A: Marshall: We are currently scheduled to produce about 50 homes per year with the Pearl Homes project at Hunter’s Point. Looking forward to the future, our next project will consist of approx. 700 homes, so the annual number of HERS®-rated homes should easily double or triple annually.
Q: How do you market HERS® Rated homes?
A: Marshall: We showcase the benefits of a HERS® rated home including better quality of life, and lower operating costs, allowing for comparative buying based on energy performance. Our HERS®-rated homes have higher appraised values. All of these add value to your build, thus raising the value for your community members. The ability to compare our home to homes that a potential buyer’s other choice allows us to play on the same level, and homes that have better HRS ratings make for an amazing way to communicate with your customers.
Q: How do your customers feel about HERS® Rated homes?
A: Marshall: Every day we strive to stay ahead of the curve, ahead of future problems. As we live our mission of “Design Smart. Build Smarter,” we focus on our ever-changing climate, as well as the increasing occurrence of hurricanes and other disasters. The HERS® rating helps us better understand the energy features we include in a new home and the impact they have on the overall energy efficiency of the home. HERS® is the only real factor when it comes to showing clear evidence of a home’s performance. We often refer to the rating as our “sticker” to show how our homes will perform. There really is no other rating or comparable process. Between the HERS® score and ratings from ENERGY STAR, our homebuyers can be confident in choosing a home.