Rounsevell Case Study
Building a Case
Outside the nation’s capital in northern Virginia, Jim Rounsevell designs AIA award-winning homes. Although green building has never been an explicit part of his agenda, “Why anyone is stick building these days is nuts to me,” he said.
Bottom Line Trumps Green Bling
Jim focuses on reducing energy consumption. “If you save someone $400 per month in their heating bill, it means something — more than eco- flooring and what the counter tops are made of,” he said.
That’s why Jim uses Thermocore Structural Insulated Panels. “They form a highly energy-efficient envelope, greatly reducing conduction and air leakage,” he said.
According to an independent energy analysis of Jim’s homes, a conventionally built house of the same size in the same location would suffer annual fuel costs of $4,944. Jim’s new homes with Thermocore’s SIPs boast estimated fuel costs of $2,220 per year — a 55% savings!
Using Thermocore Structural Insulated Panels also helped the houses earn an ENERGY STAR rating, which qualifies buyers for an energy-efficient mortgage program through the federal government. The dollar savings give you an edge in convincing hesitant buyers to proceed with their dream home now!
Seconding the Motion
Jim isn’t the only one sold on Thermocore Structural Insulated Panels. When the builder hired someone who travels the east coast installing SIPs from a wide variety of manufacturers, “He told me, ‘You know you’ve bought the Cadillac of structural insulated panels.’ I said, ‘Yes, I knew that.’”
Jim also recommended Thermocore Structural Insulated Panels to a fellow architect. “I told him there’s no question. You can look at anything else you want, but you’ll come back and buy Thermocore panels. Sure enough, he called me two weeks later and said, ‘You were right.’ Now he’s built three houses with Thermocore panels.”
As Risky as Brick
Jim compared the cost of using Thermocore Structural Insulated Panels to putting brick on the house. “We’re talking about another $20 or so per month on your mortgage, but the payoff for the performance of the panels is within five to six years,” he said.
Approximately 25 percent of the exterior surface of a typical house is in contact with its frame. “Why add all that thermal bridging with stick framing when you can use a wall panel system that’s stronger and pre-insulated, with 20 percent of your electrical rough-in factory-installed, and it gets you under roof in three days?” Jim concluded.