Wood frames and cement blocks have a long history in housing. And although they have provided the framework for millions of homes worldwide, Meritage Homes may be ready to move on.

Meritage Homes partnered with BUILDER to create the reNEWable Living Home, a project focused on new solutions for the next level of comfortable, sustainable living. To accomplish the goals of the project, Meritage had to look beyond traditional building techniques. And, what it found is something that will be part of the company's future programming.

For the reNEWable Living Home, Meritage brought in HercuTech to install their product HercuWall. The product, described by the company’s president and founder, Michael Niemann, below, was a key element for the reNEWable Living Home to reach new levels of energy performance.

CR Herro, vice president of environmental affairs at Meritage Homes, broke out the experience into a number of different benefits. Using the HercuWall panels shortened construction time, which directly translates to money saved. An element of the reduced construction time is a less complex process, which translates into the need for less labor and less skilled labor, both critically important since labor is in such high demand. (In a separate video, Dave Lassiter, the area construction manager for Meritage Homes, shares his interaction with HercuWall from an on-site perspective.)

Herro points out that even while it’s easier to build and takes less time, it’s a higher quality solution. The solid core walls provide better insulation, an R-30 value, and improved indoor comfort and reduced energy use. In addition, the solid walls completely remove the risk of moisture damage and pest damage.

All of these benefits add up to a strong case for moving the business to a new framing system. Thaddeus Lynch, vice president of purchasing at Meritage Homes, looks forward to adding more homes in Orlando with the HercuWall system.

“Arizona has already built a number of HercuWall homes,” Lynch says. “The intent moving forward in Orlando is to continue to prototype up to five more homes to further identify operational efficiencies such as streamlining lead times, installation, and costs associated with Hercuwall.”