Life Cycle Costing

Life Cycle Costing is a method of calculating the costs of a building over its entire lifetime. Sometimes called a 'cradle to grave' analysis, life cycle costing calculates costs like construction, utility bills, maintenance and end-of-life demolition.

HERS Index

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index measures the energy efficiency of a home. A low HERS Index score means a home uses less energy, saving the homeowner money and reducing consumption.


Thermal resistance (R-value) indicates a material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness is of that material. The R-value is the inverse of the U-value that measures how readily a substance conducts heat. (Yudelson)

Wall, roof, and floor assemblies are required by code to have a minimum R-value. A higher R-Value means your home is better prepared to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

Cradle to Cradle

Cradle to Cradle® is a unique approach to design and science, created by architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart and described in their book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things.

The Cradle to Cradle Institute provides companies with a means to tangibly, credibly measure achievement in environmentally-intelligent design. All C2C products are made from non-toxic materials that, at the end of their life, are taken apart and either turned into raw materials for new products or returned to the earth as compost. These products are manufactured using renewable energy and marketed with socially responsible strategies.

Blower Door Test

A blower door is a device for testing the air-tightness of a home, and a blower door test determines the air infiltration rate. A powerful fan is mounted to the frame of an exterior door and pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. An air-flow meter measures the amount of outside air that flows into the house through any unsealed cracks or openings. (Yudelson)

Energy Star

ENERGY STAR®: A voluntary, government-backed labeling program that promotes energy-efficient consumer products and homes. Developed in 1992, ENERGY STAR helps businesses and consumers easily identify energy-efficient homes, buildings and products such as major appliances, office-equipment, lighting and home electronics. (Yudelson)

Typically ENERGY STAR certified products use 20%-30% less energy than is mandated by federal standards.