Schmidt Homes Named EnergySmart Partner of the Month

Posted by Bruce Anderson, February 22nd , 2007

Northfield EnergySmart BuildingWorks (ESBW) has named Schmidt Homes as its first EnergySmart Partner of the Month. ESBW is an initiative of RENew Northfield, with funding from the Northfield Area Foundation and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Schmidt Homes was selected as the February EnergySmart Partner of the Month in recognition of the company’s long-standing commitment to building high quality energy-efficient homes. Since the company’s founding in 1981, they have been dedicated to energy savings and environmental protection. Since 2005, Schmidt Homes has committed to building 100% of its homes to federal Energy Star standards. Homes that earn the Energy Star rating must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Star qualified homes are at least 15 percent more energy-efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC).

Before construction begins on a Schmidt Home, a third-party certifier reviews the blueprints to determine if the house is on track to perform at the required energy efficiency level. Two site inspections during construction assess quality control. After construction, a third site inspection verifies air tightness. Only homes that successfully complete the program can be certified as Energy Star Homes.

Some of the standard features found in Schmidt Homes include:
• R-46 attic insulation
• High-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners
• Double-pane low-E inert gas-filled windows
• Attention to detail in sealing air leaks. Foam insulation, duct sealing, Tyvek wrap with taped seams and caulked wall-to-floor connections, careful caulking, weather-stripping and gaskets reduce drafts, improve comfort and energy-efficiency, and ensure building shell durability
• Heat recovery ventilation systems.

Steven Schmidt, president and founder of Schmidt Homes, says “Customers will usually buy what builders have to sell if they are convinced they’re getting value. It’s not hard to sell potential customers on the idea that energy-efficiency is an integral part of our high-quality package, and that it’s cost-effective as well.”

ESBW seeks to raise community expectations concerning the energy performance of local buildings, and will be hosting a series of local workshops:
•March 29 (repeated April 7): Building Energy Efficiency 101
•May 2 (repeated June 2): Incorporating Renewable Energy Systems into Your Energy-Efficient Building: Geothermal, Solar and Small Wind Systems
•July 10 (repeated August 11): Putting It All Together: Cost-Effective Zero Energy Homes

ESBW is also partnering with the Northfield HRA and Rice County Habitat for Humanity to create highly energy-efficient affordable housing in the Northfield area. For more information, call 507.664.2023.

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