Meritage Homes Uses Cutaway Models to Burnish Its Green Image

Last Friday, Meritage Homes held a media event for its Northern Terrace at Centennial Hills project in Las Vegas, where about a half-dozen local reporters saw a demonstration of how Meritage’s builders apply spray-foam insulation to interior walls, and learned how that application makes the house more energy efficient and improves its air quality. With the possible exception of KB Home, Scottsdale, Ariz.–based Meritage Homes is banking its future prosperity and growth on branding itself as a green builder more than any other of its major production-builder competitors. Meritage’s Lyon's Gate community in Gilbert, Ariz., its first to include spray-foam insulation as well as solar thermal heating and water as standard features, recently won NAHB’s Energy Value Housing Award. The company is also about to open communities in San Antonio and Fort Worth, Texas, which it claims will be the first in that state to offer standard features that make these homes two to three times more efficient than standard Energy Star–rated houses, and can save homeowners up to 60% on their energy bills. These communities, as well as others in Arizona and Nevada, include what Meritage calls “learning houses,” cutaway models that expose energy-saving features and technologies to buyers, which reaffirm the company’s commitment to energy efficient construction.

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