Jeff Rutt Discusses Keystone’s Energy Efficient Homes

Energy Plus HomeKeystone Custom Homes’ goal is to build energy-efficient homes that benefit buyers, as well as future homeowners. Recently, we asked CEO Jeff Rutt about the energy efficient initiatives Keystone offers and hopes to offer in the near future:

  1. Was there a specific inspiration to creating more energy-efficient homes? Homeowner satisfaction of living in a home that out-performs their existing home in material, space and monthly expenses while also reducing the energy burden and costs associated with living in older, less-efficient homes.
  2. What was the first “energy efficient” inspired feature, or were they all designed at once?  All designed as a total-home package that improved air infiltration, overall R-values and efficient framing techniques to minimize waste. Second floor gasket/ lid seal on the ceiling. We did this single feature along with our standards to see if KCH would meet or beat energy standards. Our home received an Energy Star rating, which goes to show our homes are built with energy efficiency in mind.
  3. What are some of the most popular energy plus features Keystone offers?

    • Yearly energy guarantee.
    • Energy-efficient Low-E windows and insulated doors.
    • Super-sealed exterior envelope for tightness and decreased air leakage.
    • Sustainable flooring product lines.
    • Low VOC paints.
    • In-line framing.
    • High R-value exterior walls (R-21).
    • Custom designed HVAC system.
    • Programmable thermostat.
    • 90 percent efficient standard water heaters.
    • Recycle our waste (Siding, Drywall, Fascia metal and cardboard) while also using joint compound in boxes rather than buckets that can’t be recycled.
    • Engineered floor joist system, cut to length reducing waste and fuel.
    • Engineered roof trusses, reducing waste and fuel.
  4. What would you say is your favorite energy plus feature? In-line framing of our wall studs and joist systems at 19.2 inches on-center, increasing our insulation by 8 percent and decreasing our environmental impact on trees from lumber.
  5. Are energy efficient features offered standard in Keystone homes or as an optional upgrade? Standard items as well as additional upgrades like geothermal HVAC systems, Dual-fuel upgrades for HVAC systems, hybrid heat pump water heaters, smart thermostats, etc.
  6. How are your energy efficient features affecting future generations? Through the decrease in our overall environmental impacts, we are creating generational investment to our natural material resources, decreased air pollution and preservation of land density to promote smart-growth communities.
  7. You recycle many materials throughout the building process. Why do you think other builders do not do the same? Not only does it help the environment by leaving less waste, but it seems more cost effective, too.  Most homebuilders place a trash bin at each site and do not bother to sort the material to recycle.  KCH provides recycling collection and trash (waste) in-house, guaranteeing we are recycling as much as possible.
  8. How much can buyers expect to save by purchasing an energy leader home versus a different new home, or even a used home?  You could save approximately $300 per month in utilities over a comparable late 20th century home.  Additional savings would be from longer lifecycle materials, promoting decreased monthly expenses toward repair and replacement.
  9. Are other energy efficient efforts in the works? Solar panels perhaps?

      • Smart Home technology with automation for lighting.
      • Energy Monitoring systems.
      • Higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) HVAC units availabilities.
      • More sustainable material sourcing throughout our entire product-line usage
      • Higher Insulation value options offered, such as closed-cell spray foam.
  10. Have you noticed an increased awareness in buyers looking for more energy efficient homes, specifically since you started offering them?  Awareness is there but seems to be price driven in certain price points.  The ability to have it included is important but most buyers we encounter do not want to go beyond our standards already set forth.

Keystone Custom Homes works to provide our buyers with a quality home in a prime location. From exciting amenities to included upgrades and features, we keep our clients interest in mind when it comes to building.