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Feb 012011

From Green Right Now Reports

Meritage Homes, a large production homebuilder active in the Southwest U.S., has expanded its green home offerings to Texas.

A Texas-style home built by Meritage in River Trails, Fort Worth.

The new Meritage green communities in Fort Worth and San Antonio will offer home buyers Energy Star-qualified homes that feature spray foam insulation and water-saving plumbing fixtures, among other features.

To meet Energy Star standards, these homes must include energy-saving features that make them typically 25 to 30 percent more efficient than comparable conventionally built homes. Meritage reports that its new energy-efficient homes will save homeowners up to 60 percent on their energy bills, making them even more efficient than the standards require.

“We’ve changed how we build homes and we expect it is going to change the industry. Our goal is to pioneer a new standard, building family communities with extremely energy efficient homes. The result is a design that delivers a significant savings without sacrificing comfort, function or style,” said Steve Hilton, President and CEO of Meritage Homes, in a statement.

The homes at the two  communities – Rolling Creek in San Antonio and The Lakes of River Trails in Fort Worth — will offer these features:

  • Spray Foam Insulation, which seals the house so it can retain heated and cooled air. It offers three times the R-value of the standard required fiberglass insulation, according to Meritage.
  • Double Low-E Vinyl Windows that can reduce energy loss by up to 50%.
  • Energy Efficient CFL Lighting that reduces lighting energy usage by 75%.
  • Weather Sensing Irrigation System to enable landscaping that meets standards set by the EPA’s new WaterSense program. (standard in Fort Worth, an upgrade in San Antonio)
  • High Performance Water Saving Plumbing Fixtures including dual-flush toilets that can reduce water bills and cut water heating costs in half.
  • 14-SEER Air Conditioning Unit that can lower cooling costs by up to 40%.

Meritage Homes Corporation, the 9th largest homebuilder in the U.S. based on homes closed, builds in a range of price categories, from starter to move-up and luxury homes.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company is active in 12 metro areas: Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Tucson, Las Vegas, Denver, Orlando, and the East Bay/Central Valley and Inland Empire of California.

Meritage was recognized by the National Homebuilders Association with the 2011 Energy Value Housing Award and boasts that it is  “the only large national homebuilder to be 100% ENERGY STAR qualified in every home started since January 1, 2010.”