For new homes, there is no single best design or technique for achieving optimal energy efficiency. Builders now have at their disposal a vast array of materials, components, appliances and techniques. Quality work and good materials have always been hallmarks of a well-built home but an understanding of how a house operates as a system is essential in building an energy efficient home. Knowing how to properly integrate all of the building components and understanding that they all interact is necessary in order to produce a high performance home.
Ultra-efficient home design combines state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction, appliances, and lighting with commercially available renewable energy systems, such as solar water heating and solar electricity. By taking advantage of local climate and site conditions, designers can incorporate passive solar heating and cooling and energy-efficient landscaping strategies. The intent is to reduce home energy use as cost-effectively as possible, and then meet the reduced requirements with on-site renewable energy systems.