Industry News

Building Green: Energy-Efficient Home Design Tips

After an unseasonably warm winter across the United States, homeowners are voicing worries of scorching summer heat and rising home energy costs to match. Building a custom home provides property owners with a unique opportunity to take control of their monthly energy bills by tailoring their home with the most energy-efficient, and therefore cost-efficient, structural design and features.


Consider the sun when choosing your home’s orientation. Large glass windows will collect and let in the sun’s heat in larger amounts depending on which side of the house they are placed. When it comes to windows, think quality over quantity. Fewer and smaller windows with low emissivity coating (low-E), argon gas filling or double window glaze provide the most energy insulation. Take advantage of sunlight with carefully placed windows to reduce the need for electric lighting during the day.


Thicker-than-average exterior walls will help provide stronger, consistent insulation. In addition, limiting the number of walls with outside exposure offers more protection from drafty air leaks.


Since kitchen appliances produce the most internal heat, designing the kitchen in the coldest spot of the house (usually the northeast corner) balances the warmer rooms in the southern part of your home. Roof overhangs, awnings or a covered porch on the south and west sides of a home provide window coverage from the sun at its hottest points directly overhead and when setting.

If you are interested in taking your green initiatives a step further, installing technologies that harness solar, wind and geothermal green energy are often more affordable to include while a home is being built, rather than adding on to an existing home in the future.

Explore our eight communities from the SouthStar Communities home page to discover land buying opportunities and build your own energy-efficient home.