About Energy Efficiency at Prairie Crossing
Using a systems approach, Prairie Crossing incorporates the following building practices into each of its single-family homes:
Here are some of the tangible benefits of energy efficient building techniques at Prairie Crossing:
- Increased insulation in the walls, ceilings and foundations, which reduces energy consumption and lowers utility bills.
- Extensive sealing and caulking of the building's interior and exterior to prevent uncontrolled air leakage.
- Placement of heat ducts in the building's interior instead of in the attic or outside walls, for efficient operation.
- Double-glazed, low-E windows with Argon gas decrease heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.
- Romex wiring in combination with airtight electrical outlets reduces drafts at electrical outlets.
- A ventilation system brings fresh air into the home.
- All furnaces and hot water heaters are direct vent high-efficiency models.
- All heat ducts are sealed with mastic to minimize air leakage. Because all Prairie Crossing homes are built according to the above specifications, they use approximately 50% less energy for heating, cooling and hot water heating than conventionally-built new homes in the Chicago Region.
- Our homes save the individual Prairie Crossing homeowner an average of $300 per year in heating costs.
- We reduce construction waste by 20% due to more efficient framing and structural systems engineering.
- Energy-Efficient Mortgages: We encourage mortgage companies, such as Prairie Crossing lenders Chicago Financial Services (CFS) and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (mortgagebanker.com), to issue energy-efficient mortgages (EEMs) to our homebuyers. Because the banks recognize that these homebuyers will spend less money on utility bills, more money can go toward mortgage payments. First-time buyers who might not otherwise be able to obtain a mortgage at all may qualify for one under this program. Other buyers can afford a more expensive home at Prairie Crossing than in another development without these energy efficient building techniques.