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Why and How Our Homes Are Green

May 23, 2019

You hear a lot about conserving energy and carbon footprints when it comes to building. There are so many ways a homebuilder can contribute to providing a home that is both eco-friendly and healthy. At Norfolk Homes in Greater Ann Arbor, here’s how and why our homes are green.

First of all, you can’t build a home today without looking far into the future. From sustainability to the construction integrity, we have a responsibility to the people who will live here—not just the buyers we’re serving now, but the families who will come after them. The Norfolk Homes team believes that every step we take today will have lasting impact, and we want those to be positive ones. It’s been that way since Norfolk Homes’ founder Jim Franke’s dad built his first home in 1952 and that legacy continues.

That’s the “why”. Here’s the “how”.

We start with what’s underneath. Norfolk Homes uses the ZIP System to provide an airtight seal against the elements: water, air, and vapor. This system for sheathing and taping a home prevents drafts that drive up your energy usage. The ZIP System’s multi-layer design also protects against water damage, which can lead to costly repairs.

Your Norfolk Home is engineered with R-38, blown-in cellulose ceiling insulation. Blown insulation fills in the cracks and crevices that conventional insulation batts might miss. You can expect an estimated 22% improvement in air leakage control over batts.

The walls are protected with R-19 fiberglass insulation, powerful defense against Michigan’s cold weather.

Every home has countless seams and holes from the construction process. We take another extra step to prevent leaks by sealing all of these gaps with foam and caulk energy seal—first, during the framing process and again after the drywall is installed.

An inefficient heating system is another contributor to wasting energy. The engineering and technology has significantly advanced the performance of furnaces and water heaters. New homes should reflect these improvements. Norfolk Homes pays attention to the proven results, so we install a 96%+, high-efficiency gas furnace with a humidifier and a 90%+ high-efficiency gas water heater

We cool your home with the same commitment to conserving energy. The 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) central air conditioning system allows for the smart use of electricity.

Windows can be source of energy waste. If you’ve ever touched a window in the middle of winter and felt the cold glass, you can be sure the window is not providing adequate thermal protection. Our homes are built with vinyl windows fitted with low-E glass, which has a special coating. The “E” stands for “emissivity”, meaning the glass does not allow heat or cold to pass through its surface. Low-E glass also filters out UV rays that can damage your furnishings.

The low-maintenance vinyl siding on our homes’ exteriors shows the tremendous advances in siding. This exterior option looks like wood but presents the advantage of low-maintenance. The color won’t fade and the surface doesn’t dry out like wood. Simply pressure-wash the siding to keep it looking new. Lower maintenance also respects the carbon footprint!

Norfolk Homes builds communities of energy-efficient, single-family homes and townhomes in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, and Jackson. Each one demonstrates our long-standing commitment to green building. Wander through our selection of move-in ready homes and gallery of floor plans. If you have a different piece of property in mind, talk to us about building on your land.




I would definitely buy another property from this group! Wonderful design and superb construction! Hope they build in Northeast Ann Arbor (again)!

Olivia