Postgreen Homes Home Performance Label Revised – Again


This post revives an idea that we had in 2011, revised later in 2011 and now have a renewed sense of urgency to implement. Back in 2011 Nic Darling had a brilliant plan for what we called the “home performance sticker” which was kind of like a mileage sticker you might see on a new car. The goal was to give potential home buyers a metric with which to compare home performance and an estimation of their utility bills. We came up with a design years ago and got some great feedback from our readers. A few updates later and we had a sleek, hip sticker to post in the window of our homes while they were under construction.

The data for these stickers comes from HERS (Home Energy Rating System), a 3rd party system which uses construction specs to estimate energy consumption. Using that data along with local utility rates you can get a pretty good estimation of your utility bills. What we’re showing you is our preliminary rating for 437 Moyer st. of our Awesometown project. Keep in mind, these utility estimates are based on a preliminary rating. Once construction is complete the HERS rater will come back and do a final rating which will be closer to reality.

In the early Postgreen days when we we’re young and hungry for any data we could get our hands on we were getting every project HERS rated. After we solidified our construction techniques and nailed down solid performance stats we sort of fell off the HERS wagon. A true shame since it meant we no longer had the data to help display our green building skills or educate buyers on quality home construction. A recent partnership between Peco and Energy Star resulting in an energy rebate for efficient enough homes was the kick in the butt we needed return to getting every one of our homes rated.

So we’ve brought the home performance label back, and updated it with the latest aesthetic principals, a few factual changes, even a QR code for more project info. Although the format has changed the content remains mostly the same. We hope it educates buyers on where value lies in a home and provides the data they need to make an informed decision.

We’ve already got a few up around town, left image is Duplexcellence II and right is Awesometown, but in an effort to make the best improvements to the green building market we’ll gladly take last minute suggestions. So what do you think?

Are we missing some pivotal info?

What other information would be interesting to see on a construction site fence or window?

Should we use a different mounting system?




  1. Andrea Wittchen says:

    I find all of this interesting and understandable except for the statement “2x more efficient than code”. Since there is nothing on the vertical bar that indicates what the code-based efficiency rating would be, am I just to assume that a house built to code would have a HERS rating of 92? Or does the 100 HERS rating for a “new home” represent a home built to code? If so, perhaps you could identify it as “New Home Built to Code” which would then connect with the “2x more efficient than code” statement.

    Just a thought.

  2. brianledder says:

    Good suggestion. The 100 HERS rating for a “new home” is the 2x more efficient than code we are talking about. We’ll revise that and make sure its clear we’re talking about a “New Home Built to Code”.

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