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Building Beyond Code in Houston

Apr 3, 2024 Share
Building Beyond Code in Houston

Building Beyond Code in Houston

Despitehaving the second largest population in the United States,topping more than 30 million people, and being first in new home construction, the state of Texas did not have standardized building codes until 2001. Although they have since adopted updated regulations like the International Residential Code (IRC), National Electric Code, and International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the state still lags behind in code adoption and enforcement; new construction must only meet standards set back in 2012, and Texas ranks near the bottom of 18 coastal states in the strength, quality, and efficacy of its residential building code systems and 29thin terms of state energy efficiency.

At Home Creations, we have more than three decades of building above and beyond code to build homes that last. From fire and water safety to withstanding extreme weather, Home Creations continues to set the standard in the industry, constructing homes that exceed Houston’s code and energy efficiency requirements to provide our homeowners with the cost savings and peace of mind they deserve.

How Home Creations Builds Energy-Efficient Houston Homes to Last

Houston’s unique position as theEnergy Capital of the Worldand situated along the Gulf Coast puts the city squarely in front of the dual issues of energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. Whether contending with changing climate patterns or finding ways to reduce energy consumption and expand green spaces, Houston is poised to become a leader in combining high-quality construction with sustainable building practices.

As a locally owned company with deep roots in the Houston area, Home Creations understands the challenges Houston homes and their owners face. Our teams have evolved in building strategies and techniques to develop efficient, effective, and affordable solutions that make our Houston homes some of the most durable in the country.

Here’s how the home builders at Home Creations tackle some of Houston’s most pressing construction problems.

Heavy Rains and Humidity

Houston is susceptible to heavy rains, flash flooding, and persistent humidity. This constant moisture can saturate the soil, increasing pressure and causing it to expand and push into your foundation.

Our builders also combat the effects of all this water with techniques like:

  • Gutters and French drains that redirect water away from the home.

  • Helical piers in the foundation for more stability and security.

  • Landscaping, including fully-sodded landscape packages to help keep your foundation dry and stable.

Moisture in the air and soil also increases the risk of mold, condensation damage, and wood rot, which is why Home Creations installsDuPont Tyvek Home Wraparound the entire home, protecting it against moisture, air, and water while preventing damage and organic growth.

Hurricane Risk and High Winds

In Houston, hurricane season typically runs from June 1 to November 30, but as with many other weather patterns, residents have seen a shift in the severity and duration of hurricanes. This is one reason why Houston became the first city in Texas to adopt newer, stricter code requirements developed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) designed to make buildings more resistant to high winds, floods, and extreme weather conditions.

To help your new home withstand the wild weather of hurricanes and changing climate patterns, Home Creations builds every Houston home with:

Anchor bolts, eight-inch-deep bolts that securely anchor the structure of the house to the stem wall of the foundation. Installed into the concrete and held in place by J-shape locks, anchor bolts keep the house grounded and more resilient against strong straight-line winds.

Hurricane straps, which secure the frame of the roof to the rest of the house, reducing the chances of the roof being removed by high winds.

Oriented strand boards, which consist of layers of wood in alternating orientations, making it more resilient than standard foam boards against storms and straight-line winds.

In addition to implementing specific techniques for building homes in flood plains, Home Creations also designs our homes to sustain the least amount of damage during hurricanes and their subsequent flooding, allowing for quicker clean up of both water and the contaminants that come with storm water.

Water and Energy Demand

As the country’s fourth largest city, Houston is seeing a dramatic surge in energy and water demand, prompting the city to adopt new building construction codes in 2023 that make homes more energy and water efficient.

Home Creations has been at the forefront of energy and water efficiency for nearly 30 years, which is why Houston homes built by Home Creations come standard with features like:

Navien tankless water heaters, the highest rated Energy Star gas tankless water heaters available. In addition to eliminating the extra cost of keeping gallons of hot water in a storage tank—making them 97%-99% more energy efficient—Navien tankless water heaters also boast dual stainless-steel heat exchangers that resist corrosion better than the copper commonly used in other tankless water heaters.

LED lightsin all light fixtures, for lighting that is more durable, more energy efficient, and more ecologically friendly, thanks to lower voltage requirements and zero UV emissions.

Extreme Heat

The summer of 2023 was the hottest on record for Houston, with temperatures remaining unusually high—an average of 88 degrees—for a longer period of time, but the city’s location on a subtropical latitude near the Gulf of Mexico’s warm waters mean the region regularly experiences a tropical-like climate.

In the face of triple-digit temperatures and higher humidity, here’s what keeps Home Creations’ Houston homes cool in extreme heat.

Radiant barrier deckingis a highly reflective material that reflects radiant heat. Installed in all of our homes, radiant barrier decking prevents heat gain through the roof to keep the attic at a steady temperature and creates less work for your HVAC system.

Properly installed attic insulation can also help keep your home comfortable and energy efficient in extreme heat. The “R” rating of insulation is the measure of thermal resistance, with a higher R-value indicating greater insulating effectiveness. Home Creations installsR-44 attic insulationin all of our new Houston homes, exceeding the city’s R-30 to R-38 minimum requirement.

Low-E thermalpane windows with argon gasare another way to reduce the amount of heat loss, heat gain, or heat radiation entering your home. The low-E coating and argon gas reduce the amount of UV rays in a conditioned space, preventing sun damage to your curtains and furniture and keeping your home’s temperature regulated.

Efficient HVAC systemsare critical for coping with big swings in the seasons. All of the HVAC systems installed in Home Creations new homes include a 96% efficient furnace and a 16 SEER AC*, with Mastic used to seal all system joints.

*The U.S. Department of Energy requires air conditioners to achieve a minimum SEER rating of 13, with Houston’s building code requiring a 15.

Trust Your Houston Home to the Building Experts at Home Creations

At Home Creations, we’ve spent the better part of three decades building homes that aren’t just beautiful—they’re built to last, even in the face of new and existing environmental challenges and economic demands. We remain committed to giving you the Houston home you’ve always dreamed of at a price you can afford, and with all the safety and energy efficiency features you deserve for peace of mind. Contact a Houston Home Creations New Home Consultant today and start making your dreams a reality.

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