Weyerhaeuser logo

Green Homebuilding

Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company's five homebuilding subsidiaries are at the forefront of building energy-efficient homes, reducing water use and introducing other green features that consumers now expect in newly built homes.


Our LivingSmart® program is a comprehensive approach to responsible development and high-performing homes designed to generate cost savings for our customers. LivingSmart homes have a combination of features that create energy efficiencies, conserve resources, improve air and water quality, and minimize water consumption. LivingSmart homes are designed to exceed local building codes with such attributes as:

  • Resource-efficient engineered wood, including Weyerhaeuser Wood Products
  • Low VOC insulation, grout, adhesives, and interior paint to contribute to better indoor air quality
  • Radiant barrier roof sheathing to reflect heat away from the attic
  • Energy-efficient HVAC systems with sealed ducts
  • Certified, third-party inspections to verify above code energy efficient design and quality installation practices
  • Low-E spectrally selective glass windows, which reduce heat and ultraviolet rays and provide optimal insulation
  • Programmable thermostat with multiple time and temperature settings
  • Plush, stain-resistant carpeting made from 100 percent recycled soda bottles
  • Convenient recycling center discreetly housed in kitchen cabinet
  • High water efficiency showerheads, toilets and WaterSense® labeled faucets, dramatically cutting water usage while maintaining desired water pressure
  • High-performance insulated siding to improve energy efficiency

Home Energy Efficiency

As part of our Sustainability Roadmap, we set a goal to educate customers about the sustainability aspects of our products. To help meet this goal, in 2012, each homebuilding subsidiary began using the Home Energy Rating System established by the Residential Energy Services Network as a measure of home energy efficiency.

A home built to the specifications of the HERS Reference Home (based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code) qualifies for a HERS Index of 100, whereas a net zero energy home qualifies for a HERS Index of zero. Lower HERS Index ratings indicate high energy efficiency. Each one-point decrease in the HERS Index corresponds to a one percent reduction in energy consumption compared to the HERS Reference Home. Thus, a home with a HERS Index of 80 is 20 percent more energy efficient that the HERS Reference Home.

The 2012 average HERS score among all five homebuilders was 70, indicating that our homes are 30 percent more energy efficient than the HERS reference home.

Our Homebuilders

For more information about each of our homebuilders, please click on the following links:

Story Image
James Attwood of Maracay Homes says the Home Energy Rating System is an important issue for today's homebuyers.
Homes and HERS
Maracay Homes scores ecstatic customers

"What's the HERS rating?"

To anyone outside of the housing market, this question sounds like it might involve judging a blind date. The acronym actually stands for Home Energy Rating System®, and new homebuyers care about the answer.

"Customers in our market are coming in and asking about it," says James Attwood, construction area manager for Maracay Homes in Arizona. "It's become part of their vernacular."

That suits Attwood and his colleagues fine, because in the last seven years, they've almost doubled the energy efficiency of the Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company subsidiary's homes. That improvement shows up in their HERS Index.

The HERS baseline, 100, reflects a home built to the widely adopted International Energy Conservation Code, and lower scores are better. A home with a HERS rating of 0, for instance, produces as much energy as it consumes.

"In 2005, our most popular model had a HERS score of 103," Attwood says. "In 2012, we're building communities with an average HERS score of 58!"

The improvements have come through a variety of measures, from the installation of more energy efficient appliances and light bulbs to the use of Weyerhaeuser Radiant Barrier Sheathing in roofing systems. This multi-pronged effort toward greener building evolved over the past several years as Maracay worked not only to keep up with competitors, Attwood explains, but also "to differentiate ourselves and lead in this area."

It didn't hurt that Andy Warren, Maracay's president, was named to lead WRECO's sustainability council, one of several committees WRECO homebuilders use to share best practices and discuss mutual interests.

"In some ways, we had a little farther to go," says Attwood, "with more urgency in our Arizona market."

Warren asked him to take a leadership role in Maracay's green building practices, and Attwood got to work. As a result, Maracay's become a sustainability leader in its market, and its Living Smart® homes — a brand initially developed by Pardee Homes and now shared among WRECO homebuilders — are popular. Across all of its models, Maracay's on pace to sell 430 homes this year, all with energy efficiency that delights their buyers.

"In many ways, a low HERS score has become synonymous with quality," Attwood says. "It's common for customers, who often are moving up to a bigger home, to tell us how much lower their utility bills are in their new home. They're ecstatic."

Last updated July 3, 2013