Build Smart Newsletter

Welcome to the third edition of the Build Smart newsletter, brought to you by the Nicor Gas and ComEd® Residential New Construction Service. This quarterly communication is designed to update our builder partners on current services, provide insight into the new construction energy efficiency industry, and serve as a resource to assist you in achieving above-code levels of efficiency for your homes.

Selling high performance homes

You’re already building high performance homes, but are prospective homebuyers aware of the unique benefits your homes offer? Unlike cabinets and countertops, the benefits of a high performance home are not always in plain view. Learn how to “sell” these valuable assets to homebuyers and increase your bottom line. Join us for a FREE training session on March 30!

Todd Gamboa, president of Building Trust LLC, will provide free sales training for builders on March 30 at Nicor Gas, 1844 Ferry Road, Naperville IL, 60563. The training session titled “Selling High Performance Homes” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., with continental breakfast provided.

Todd has worked in the building industry for nearly three decades and has a wealth of knowledge on all things related to building and selling high performance homes. The RNC program hosted this valuable training session in November 2015, and those who attended walked away with a wealth of new knowledge. One builder said they will immediately incorporate concepts of “better marketing of our product” and others said they would recommend this training session to co-workers, business associates, and any local builder or Realtor.

Register today! Call 651.200.3417 to reserve your spot or for more information.

Radiant Heat Transfer and Occupant Comfort

Getting comfort callbacks is an unfortunate reality of homebuilding, but there is an easy way to reduce these – by improving radiant temperatures. Any cold mass in the home draws body temperature away and has a cooling effect on the people nearby. Issues with radiant heat transfer actually affect comfort levels more than ambient temperature and drafts, and they are harder to remediate. A good place to start is by installing a continuous air barrier that prevents thermal bridging and cold air infiltration. Building with high efficiency windows is also important, especially in areas like bedrooms and living rooms, where occupants tend to spend a lot of time. It is essential to keep in mind that occupant comfort is just as important as energy efficiency!

More information on the relationship between radiant heat and comfort can be found at Healthy House Institute.

Illinois State Energy Code Adoption

Beginning January 1, 2016, new residential buildings are permitted under IECC 2015 with Illinois-specific amendments. The new code and its amendments are very similar to the previous state energy code, IECC 2012 with Illinois-specific amendments. At this time there are no planned changes to the RNC Program as a result of this recent code change. You can read more here about the new Illinois Energy Conservation Code. Please contact Residential Science Resources at 651.200.3417, or email Mike Topitzhofer at, with any questions.