Builder Spotlight: Insight Homes Innovation Win

Poster showing project and performance data and energy-efficiency measures for a DOE 2019 Housing Innovation Award winning home that was certified to the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home criteria.

DOE’s Housing Innovation Awards recognize the best in home building innovation on the path toward net zero.

Among this year’s winners in the production home category is Insight Homes, a Delaware builder and previous innovation award winner. Insight’s ability to evolve its construction practices to take advantage of the latest in building science developments and energy-efficient construction techniques are among the characteristics that set this exceptional builder apart from the competition.

The 2019 Award-Winning Home

Insight’s 2019 award-winner is s 2,821 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home built in mixed humid climate zone 4A. The home was completed in April 2019 and showcases impressive performance numbers, including a HERS 53 rating, and 2.7ACH 50 air-leakage score. Although the home does not include solar, it is solar-ready, allowing the owners the option to add solar in the future to offset energy costs, which were modeled at $2,450 annually.

While there are myriad approaches to building a high-efficiency home, one commonality you’ll find with each high-performance builder is a demonstrated understanding of basic building science and an exceptional focus on quality envelope construction.

For Insight Homes, this means using a panelized wall system constructed indoors allowing the lumber to be precisely measured, cut, and nailed, all while being protected from the elements. The walls are 2 x 6, 24” inch, on-center walls using advanced framing. This type of framing allows for more insulation in the wall cavity and includes insulated headers, 2 and 3 stud corners, and R-23 netted blown fiberglass insulation. The vented attic of this award-winning home also features R-49 blown-in fiberglass, R-38 batts, and 18-inch raised heel trusses, leaving ample room for insulation above the exterior top plates.

The home’s foundation details include liquid applied waterproofing, a four-inch clean gravel floor, 10 mil vapor barrier, 2 inches of R-10 XPS foam on the interior walls, and R-19 open-cell foam in the band joists. Double-paned windows also benefit the home’s overall high-efficiency profile.

A Winning Formula: Cost Competitive and High Performance

By identifying and utilizing building science practices that lead to high-quality, more energy-efficient construction, Insight Homes has honed its approach to home building, taking advantage of the best construction practices and products while maintaining a focus on delivering a home that will provide lower operating costs and long-term durability to the owners, yet still be priced competitively with the competition.

Stacy Fitzgerald-Redd is the Director of Communications for North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA).